Gaza Protests

Gaza Protest in Glasgow City CentreA thousand people marched through the streets of Glasgow on Saturday January 3 to show their support for Palestinian civilians caught up in the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.

 The marchers called for an immediate end to the violence and the removal of blockades which are preventing aid from reaching the besieged Gaza residents. The marchers assembled at Blythswood Square then made their way to the Merchant City.

 They were addressed by speakers including MSPs Bill Kidd, (SNP) Pauline McNeill, (Labour) and Hugh O’Donnell (Lib Dem), as well as Barrie Levine of Scottish Jews for a Just Peace and Nazia Iqbal of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation.

The following night, a fundraising dinner at the Glasgow Central Mosque by Islamic Relief raised £160,000 for humanitarian aid for Gaza. The dinner was attended by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, who said: ‘I congratulate Islamic Relief and the people of Glasgow for raising over £150k in one evening.

‘This shows the strength of feeling from people about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.’

On Tuesday January 6, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that Gaza faces an imminent humanitarian disaster. The Committee’s director of operations, Pierre Krähenbühl, said ‘There is no doubt in my mind that we are dealing with a major crisis in humanitarian terms. The situation for the people in Gaza is extreme and traumatic as a result of ten days of uninterrupted fighting. In that sense, their situation has clearly become intolerable.’

Further demonstrations took place in London and Edinburgh on Saturday January 10 by both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups.

 At the London pro-Israeli rally, Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks called for an end to violence saying: ‘We say to those who criticise Israel: You want Palestinian children to gorw up with hope, so do we. You want Palestinians to be able to live with dignity, so do we.’

In Edinburgh around 7000 people marched in support of the Palestinians. As protesters passed the American Embassy, a torrent of shoes was thrown at the building – including ski boots and clogs. Three police officers suffered minor injuries.