Humza Yousaf has told how his mother-in-law made a 'panicked phone call from Gaza where she was “saying her goodbyes”.

The First Minister’s wife’s mother-in-law Elizabeth El-Nakla, and father-in-law, Maged El-Nakla, are trapped in Gaza and he said they and others feared they were about to be bombed last night.

Yousaf said: “Last night was a difficult night. We had a call at one in the morning from my mother-in-law in a panic.

"She was in the street with all of her family they believed their houses were about to be hit.

“It was a false alarm but people were running to goodness and god knows where because nowhere is safe in Gaza at all.”

A very sombre looking First Minister told the BBC about the phone call from his wife Nadia’s mother.

He added: “She was even saying her goodbyes. They are still trapped in Gaza. They are safe for now, as safe as you can be in the middle of a war zone.”

He said she told him water and food are running out for them and the people trapped in Gaza.

The First Minister called on the UK Government to use its influence to bring about a ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor to allow people to leave.

He said: “There has to be an immediate ceasefire, there has to be a humanitarian corridor to allow people to leave.

“This is not a natural disaster it is a man-made humanitarian disaster. It can be and should be stopped.”

He said the majority of the 2.2 million people in Gaza have nothing to do with Hamas which he condemned for the atrocities carried out when they attacked Israel last week, killing innocent men, women and children.

Yousaf said it was “barbaric terrorism” and said he accepted Israel has a right to defend itself.

He added: “The UK Government is a trusted ally of Israel.  They should use that to seek a humanitarian corridor to allow supplies in and people to leave.”

The said people are not going to leave if they are going to be hit by rockets.

After condemning Hamas for a 'barbaric' act of terrorism and calling for Israel to allow people to leave Gaza safely, the First Minister added: "An Israeli life and a Palestinian life are equal."