Senior SNP government minister Humza Yousaf said his wife was in floods of tears for the safety of her brother and relatives in Gaza, as the region was feared to be tipping towards “full scale war”.
Mr Yousaf told of the family distress in social media posts as deadly violence intensified.
Dundee-based Nadia El-Nakla, who was an SNP election candidate in the North East region, has relatives in the blockaded territory.
Mr Yousaf wrote on social media: “Wife has been in floods of tears all evening. Her brother lives in Gaza with his wife and three young children.
“He tells us it’s raining rockets. As a parent he feels helpless, they cannot leave as they are under blockade. All we can do is pray and hope they are alive in the morning.”
Wife has been in floods of tears all evening. Her brother lives in Gaza with his wife & three young children. He tells us it's raining rockets. As a parent he feels helpless, they cannot leave as they are under blockade. All we can do is pray & hope they are alive in the morning.
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) May 11, 2021
Rockets were fired from Gaza while Israeli forces bombarded the territory with air strikes in the most serious fighting since the 50-day war in 2014, according to international reports.
The death toll in Gaza rose to 35 Palestinians, including 12 children and three women, according to the health ministry there, with some 233 people injured.
Five Israelis, including three women and a child, were killed by rocket fire on Tuesday and early on Wednesday, and dozens of other people were injured.
The UN’s Middle East peace envoy, Tor Wennesland, said the sides were “escalating towards a full-scale war”.
On Wednesday morning, Mr Yousaf thanked people for their “kind messages” about his brother-in-law.
In a post on social media, he added: “I have passed your kindness, and prayers to my wife and her brother who are taking great comfort in them. I hope the international community intervenes and actually tackles the root of this conflict.”
Thank you to everyone for their kind msgs about my brother-in-law in Gaza. I have passed your kindness, and prayers to my wife and her brother who are taking great comfort in them.
I hope the international community intervenes & actually tackles the root of this conflict.
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) May 12, 2021
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged leaders in Israel and Palestine to “step back from the brink”.
Mr Johnson said: “The UK is deeply concerned by the growing violence and civilian casualties and we want to see an urgent de-escalation of tensions.”
The latest upsurge in violence has been triggered by tensions in Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
A focal point was the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a holy site sacred to both Jews and Muslims, while there were also clashes over the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrar neighbourhood of east Jerusalem.