UK should consider Gaza refugee resettlement scheme, says wife of Scottish first minister

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

UK should consider Gaza refugee resettlement scheme, says wife of Scottish first minister

Nadia El-Nakla, the SNP Councillor married to Humza Yousaf made recommendation as her brother remains trapped amidst Israel-Hamas war

Nadia El-Nakla’s brother has been unable to leave Gaza, though his wife and their four children are now in Turkey (PA) (PA Wire)
Nadia El-Nakla’s brother has been unable to leave Gaza, though his wife and their four children are now in Turkey (PA) (PA Wire)

The wife of Scotland’s first minister has said her brother has been unable to flee Gaza, leading to calls for a resettlement scheme similar to that offered to Ukrainian refugees.

Nadia El-Nakla, an SNP councillor in Dundee, told the Guardian newspaper her sister-in-law has been able to take refuge in Turkey with the couple’s four children, who are aged between six months and nine years.

But she said her brother’s name was removed from the list provided by the Turkish administration – meaning the emergency doctor must remain in the war-torn region alongside his 93-year-old grandmother, who requires round-the-clock care.

Ms El-Nakla, who is married to Humza Yousaf, is now urging the UK government to allow those with family in Britain to live in the UK while the conflict with Israel continues.

She told the Guardian: “The Ukrainian resettlement programme saved so many lives. Gazans should also have that opportunity, especially those with family in Britain.

“I feel like a second-class citizen in my own country, because I don’t have the right to bring my own brother to stay in my own home.

“I can see people across the street hosting Ukrainian families, and rightly so, But I can’t host my own brother, to me that feels beyond upsetting.”

But Ms El-Nakla, who attended a summit of leaders’ spouses in Istanbul prior to her family’s escape, said she is “so grateful” her sister-in-law and her children are safe, adding: “My brother keeps thanking me for saving his kids.”

The politician has been outspoken about her family’s situation in Gaza, regularly joining Mr Yousaf in calling for a ceasefire.

Her parents – Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla – were in Gaza visiting relatives at the time of the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel and the subsequent initial retaliation.

They were trapped with limited supplies for almost a month before being granted permission to leave through Egypt along with other British nationals.

They returned to Dundee, but remain “traumatised” by their experience, Ms El-Nakla said, and they have now travelled to Turkey to support their daughter-in-law.

Meanwhile, Ms El-Nakla said her brother continues to work in dangerous circumstances.

“There’s nothing I can say to comfort him,” she told the newspaper.

“I said to him remember the line from the Koran that says with difficulty comes ease, and that ease should come soon. He replied: ‘I say that line about 100 times a day.’

“They’re just so tired of it. There’s no respite.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: