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Scotland offers sanctuary to Palestinians escaping Hamas war

“Let’s say [it] will be a place of sanctuary for them, as we have shown that kindness and compassion for others,” said First Minister Humza Yousaf.

Humza Yousaf, accompanied by family members, when he was sworn in as Scotland's First Minister at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on March 29, 2023. Credit: Scottish Government via Wikimedia Commons.
Humza Yousaf, accompanied by family members, when he was sworn in as Scotland's First Minister at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on March 29, 2023. Credit: Scottish Government via Wikimedia Commons.

Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Humza Yousaf has announced plans for the country to take in refugees fleeing the war in Gaza.

“Let’s say that Scotland will be a place of sanctuary for them, as we have shown that kindness and compassion for others. Let us show it once again and this time for the people of Gaza,” Yousaf said in a speech on Tuesday. “Scotland is willing to be the first country in the U.K. to take those refugees.”

In response to the decision, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said that the United Kingdom had taken in more than 500,000 refugees from other countries since withdrawing from the European Union and “in terms of sheer numbers, we’ve just got to say enough’s enough.”

Yousaf’s wife, Nadia El-Nakla, is of Scottish-Palestinian descent, and he said in his speech that she has family in Gaza. The couple has previously expressed fear for their loved ones.

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