Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s new first minister, has a history of meeting with Hamas and has called for an arms embargo against the State of Israel. Yousaf has said in the past that “people are starving and dying a slow death” in the Gaza Strip.
The 37-year-old achieved three milestones with his election as the leader of Scotland’s government this week: he is the youngest; the first Muslim; and as Pakistani, the first member of a minority group to hold the title.
But an historic meeting with Hamas prompted concerns leading up to his appointment. Jewish Chronicle reported that he attended the high-level meeting with Hamas leader Mohammad Sawalha, also known by nom de guerre Abu Obada.
Despite Sawalha’s history — he had been named by BBC Panorama in 2006 as having “masterminded much of Hamas’ political and military strategy” — a meeting was secured with a SNP cabinet minister and government officials at the Scottish Parliament.
The meeting took place in 2008, when Yousaf was 22 and working as a parliamentary assistant for the late-Bashir Ahmad, Scotland’s first Muslim MSP. Scottish parliamentary questions reveal that Sawalha attended the meeting at Holyrood as a representative of Islam Expo, which was funded by a £2 million grant from Qatar and held in London in 2006 and 2008.
Yousaf’s in-laws happen to live in Gaza, reports Jewish News Syndicate (JNS): “Wife has been in floods of tears all evening,” he tweeted in May 2021 during Israeli airstrikes in response to thousands of rockets being launched by terror groups—Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad—entrenched in the coastal enclave. “Her brother lives in Gaza with his wife & three young children. He tells us it’s raining rockets.”
Other of his tweets have accused Israel of “killing innocent civilians” and “starvation of population of Gaza and continuing human-rights abuses.”
Source: JNS / Jewish Chronicle
This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.