Page last updated at 00:08 GMT, Saturday, 3 January 2009

Cities protest over Gaza attacks

Protesters in Edinburgh
Police said there was no trouble at either protest

Demonstrators against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza have gathered in Edinburgh and Glasgow in response to the current middle east crisis.

Police said about 500 people marched through Glasgow while 600 turned out on the streets of Edinburgh.

Stop the War Scotland and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign are campaigning to halt the Israeli attacks.

The marches followed similar events held across the world on Friday.

A Scottish emergency co-ordinating committee on Gaza was formed by a number of organisations this week.

The groups involved include the Scottish Islamic Foundation and the Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign.

A spokeswoman for the organisers said: "The event went very well and we hope that it demonstrates the feeling of people in Scotland.

"That was what today was about, it was to say the siege has to end immediately, the bombing has to end immediately.

"It has to stop now and we have to have a ceasefire."

'Totally disproportionate'

In contrast with the police estimates, organisers said about 2,000 people took part in the Glasgow protest with roughly the same number in Edinburgh.

Police said there was no trouble at either Scottish event.

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond repeated his call for the Israeli Government to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

Mr Salmond said: "More than 400 people are now believed to have been killed in over a week of Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

"Israel must agree to the ceasefire that has been proposed, to allow much-needed humanitarian aid and assistance to be delivered.

"The Israeli Government's response to the security situation is totally disproportionate, and appears to be a general punishment of the people of Gaza. The Israeli Government must now respect the authority of the United Nations Secretary General and agree to an immediate ceasefire."

The Israeli Government has said its actions are necessary to prevent Palestinian militants firing rockets from Gaza into Israel.

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