Hundreds of protestors flocked to Marischal Square in Aberdeen on Saturday to show their support for Palestine.
About 500 north-east residents rallied in the city and campaigned against the escalation of Israeli state violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem and Gaza.
They protested in a socially distanced way, and the majority wore masks.
A number of speakers took to the stage to offer their support to the cause, including politicians such as Kirsty Blackman and Maggie Chapman.
— Kirsty Blackman (@KirstySNP) May 15, 2021
The event was supported by a number of local groups and organisations, including the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC), CND North East Scotland, Campaigning for Peace, and Aberdeen University Palestine Society.
Tommy Campbell, former Unite regional officer and member of the ATUC, was pleased about the number of people who attended the protest.
He said: “It was an absolutely brilliant turn-out, the whole of Marischal Square was completely filled up.
“Spirits were good, people were chanting from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.
“The speakers condemned the actions of Israel and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“It lasted just over two hours, with spirits and hopes kept high throughout it.
“There were people of all ages there, children, families, there was a good, broad representation.”
The Israel/Palestine conflict
Israel and Palestine have long been at war, with UK leaders urging for “de-escalation” amid worsening Middle East fighting.
This week, the Gaza Strip has been bombed by Israel, with thousands of Palestinians being forced to flee from their homes.
Hamas fired hundreds of rockets in Israel, whose military responded by barraging the Gaza Strip with tank fire and air strikes.
At least 126 people have been killed in Gaza, including 31 children and 20 women.
In Israel seven people have been killed, including a six-year-old boy and a soldier.
Jonathan Russell, Chairman of CND North East Scotland/ Campaigning for Peace stated: “We condemn the actions of the Israeli Government in illegally taking land away from the Palestinians and in their day-to-day harassment of Palestinians.
“Further, we condemn the use of disproportionate use of force against the Palestinians. The two-way arms trade between Israel and the UK is compounding this horrendous situation.
“We call on the International Community to both condemn this situation but also to put in place a just agreement for the Palestinian people.”
On Saturday, Palestinians will also commemorate 73 years since the Nakba when almost 1 million Palestinians were expelled from their homes when the Israeli state was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War.
The word Nakba translates from Arabic as catastrophe or disaster, with the occasion designed to remember 700,000 Palestinians who were forced to flee as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and seek refuge in nearby countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Attended Aberdeen’s protest in solidarity with the people of a Palestine.
— Guy Ingerson (@guy_ingerson) May 15, 2021
End the occupation of Palestine. End the Apartheid of the Israeli state.
Aberdeen stands for justice and peace! pic.twitter.com/9kF3CMMEGa
— Maggie Chapman (@MaggieChapman) May 15, 2021
the people of aberdeen in solidarity with palestine pic.twitter.com/nPZimcSFZp
— LaurenN🦷 (@1aurenmoose) May 15, 2021