PALESTINIAN Scot Nadia El-Nakla has vowed she will continue to speak the truth about what is happening to her family in Gaza despite online abuse labelling her anti-Semitic.

The long-serving SNP activist, who is married to Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, has endured an emotionally draining week worrying about her relatives in Gaza under siege from bombs and rockets.

However, she told the Sunday ­National that while she was initially so sick with fear she could not eat, she was now angry about the way the crisis is being depicted by the world’s media.

“I feel our blood is cheap, that is how I feel,” she said. “I feel so sad the world does not value our blood but also really angry about the way this is being portrayed. The ­mainstream ­media is very one-sided. They keep saying it is conflict on both sides but they don’t mention that Gaza is illegally occupied by Israel, is under siege and has no protection. It is ­victim blaming.

“We must address the root cause of this conflict that is the continued ­occupation of Palestine, as opposed to simply decrying the symptoms. If we fail to do so, then many more ­innocent men, women and children will die, and that should weigh very heavily on our collective conscience.”

Over the last week, El-Nakla has been in constant contact with her remaining family in Gaza which includes her brother Mohammed, a doctor, his wife Duas and their five-year-old twin boys, Amjid and Majid, and baby girl, Layla. On Thursday, ­during Eid, the celebration at the end of Ramadan, a bomb exploded near the home of El-Nakla’s 85-year-old gran.

“She was screaming even though she says she is not usually scared,” said El-Nakla. “I also spoke to my aunt who lives in the city of Gaza who said they were all terrified. My cousin sent me a video of a house bombed in her street. It was horrific. Her son keeps asking her how he can close his ears because the sound is so bad.

“There is nowhere to run and ­nowhere to hide. Gaza is only 25 miles long so when they are bombing it is like they are bombing the entire place.”

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El-Nakla said she had been constantly checking her phone, fearing bad news.

“It’s anxiety. You are almost ­waiting for bad news although you are hoping it doesn’t come. It is a horrible ­feeling but it’s nothing compared with what they are ­going through – yet my ­brother is so ­upbeat. He is such a ­positive person and says he is fine and not scared to die. They are so brave but the trauma for the kids is huge.”

She has been unable to visit her family for 15 years because of the ­occupation. Before that she visited regularly, spending up to six weeks there in the summer when she was a child.

“Nobody is getting in or out as Gaza is under siege,” said El-Nakla, who was born in Scotland but whose paternal grandfather fled to Gaza in 1948 when he was dispossessed of his land by the Israelis.

“My brother has no choice – he has to stay there even though the trauma is incredible. Israel wants Palestinians to leave but my grandmother wants to die in Gaza and she wants to be with her family. My grandfather is buried there and my grandmother wants to die there. Why should they leave their home? I want to protect my brother but that is where he lives. They are just an ordinary family having to live through extraordinary circumstances which is now their normal. it should not be normal for anyone. It should not be normal for children to grow up with this.”

El-Nakla said Palestinians should have the same rights as Israelis. “As an occupying force, the Israelis have the responsibility to give them health care and freedom of movement but they are treated worse than dogs.”

SHE pointed out that people in Scotland were upset when they were not allowed to travel more than five miles during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns but people in Gaza had suffered such restrictions for many years along with daily power cuts and water shortages.

“The UN has said Gaza is not ­sustainable as two million people are confined to an area 25 miles long and seven miles wide. Israel has a ­responsibility but what they are doing is strangling the people.

“It is psychological as well as physical warfare – it’s heartbreaking.”

El-Nakla said she would continue to call for justice for the Palestinians despite being labelled anti-Semitic for speaking out about the crisis.

“We need to change the language,” she said. “Zionism is not Judaism and speaking out against Zionists is not anti-Semitic. Every world leader needs to not only speak out but take action against Israel for breaking UN resolutions, international law and committing war crimes.”