Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf, whose family is currently trapped in Gaza due to recent events, has accused the British government of not valuing Palestinian lives as much as Israeli lives. He expressed his distress over the situation in Israel and Gaza, criticizing the UK government for this perceived discrepancy.
Yousaf disclosed that his mother-in-law and father-in-law, who traveled from Dundee to Gaza to visit a sick relative and other family members, have been stranded there since Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel. Despite his outreach, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has not contacted Yousaf about the situation, leading him to feel “angry and disappointed.”
According to Politico, he also expressed frustration over receiving no response after writing to Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who is currently in Israel.
A British government source confirmed that Cleverly had raised Yousaf’s situation with the Israeli government. However, Yousaf emphasized that some UK politicians have failed to show sympathy for the people of Gaza.
On another note, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps defended Israel’s decision to instruct over a million northern Gaza residents to evacuate in anticipation of a ground assault. The UN cautioned that such displacement could have severe humanitarian consequences.
Yousaf called on the UK government to use its influential position as an ally of Israel to advocate for an end to collective punishment and to affirm that the lives of Palestinians hold the same value as Israeli lives.
While Yousaf empathizes with Israel’s need for self-defense, he firmly affirms that the cost should not entail the collective punishment of two million people.
According to Al Jazeera, 180,000 Palestinians have been rendered homeless, their homes reduced to rubble by strikes on once-populated residential areas. Additionally, Gaza’s sole power plant has run out of fuel, intensifying the strain on already overburdened medical facilities, now at risk of plunging into darkness.
Yousaf implored leaders worldwide to recognize the value of both Israeli and Palestinian lives, vehemently denouncing the unjustifiable collective punishment inflicted upon over two million inhabitants of Gaza, encompassing men, women, and children.
In an emotional moment, Yousaf shared that he feels “powerless and helpless” about his in-laws’ situation. He had promised his four-year-old daughter that her grandmother would be home for Halloween, but he now faces uncertainty about whether this will be possible.