Call to fly Palestinian flag above City Chambers

Protesters in the Capital hold a Disasters Emergency Committee banner with a donation number. Picture: Toby Williams
Protesters in the Capital hold a Disasters Emergency Committee banner with a donation number. Picture: Toby Williams
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CALLS have been made to fly the flag of Palestine above the City Chambers as a gesture of solidarity with the victims of Israeli military action in Gaza.

It comes as councils in Fife, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow moved to acknowledge the Palestinian plight by flying their colours on civic buildings.

Today, Edinburgh Greens called on city leaders to fly the Palestinian flag as a mark of respect to the citizens of Gaza.

It is understood the proposal is now being considered at City Chambers.

Chas Booth, who represents Leith ward, said: “The events in Gaza are an abomination. 
It is essential we have many voices around the world in opposition to the slaughter of innocent civilians.

“The flying of the Palestinian flag in solidarity with the innocent victims in Gaza is something the City of Edinburgh Council should seriously consider.”

Nearly 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed since fighting between Israel and Hamas began in early July.

Negotiations are under way in Egypt to extend a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip which expired on Friday.

Dr Ezra Golombok, director of the Israel Information Centre in Scotland, said Edinburgh risked being linked with support for a terrorist organisation if the council chose to fly the Palestinian flag.

He said: “By flying the Palestinian flag, Edinburgh Council would be implying the city’s support for Hamas, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union, the USA and many others. Hamas has brought disaster to the people of Gaza, because of thousands of terrorist rockets fired at Israeli civilians.”

A council spokesperson said: “A decision on this matter has not been taken and it is to be discussed.”

Meanwhile, a major protest rally is due to take place today at the top of The Mound led by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to highlight the tragic events blighting Gaza and Palestine.

Launching at 2pm, the demonstration will be addressed by several speakers including Green MSP Alison Johnstone, Gordon Maloney of NUS Scotland and Mike Arnott of the STUC General Council. Albie O’Neill of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “The people of Scotland are repulsed by what is happening in Gaza and are demanding that the slaughter of innocents must end.

“But they are also demanding that something be done to force Israel to cease its illegal practices in Gaza and the rest of Palestine.

“Illegal detention of minors, use of live ammunition against unarmed protestors, land theft, illegal settlements, the list goes on.”

Last week two Fringe shows linked to Israel were cancelled amid protests and a Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in Scotland has launched a new appeal for people affected by the conflict in Gaza.

A cross-party group of MSPs has joined calls to end the siege of Gaza.

Members from all parties except the Conservatives joined a demonstration of around 200 members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Coalition outside the Scottish Parliament.