Activists from across the North East of Scotland yesterday came together for an emergency demonstration in St. Nicholas Square, Aberdeen. They came to stand in solidarity with Palestine, and to protest the latest bout of Israeli enforced collective punishment and the biased mainstream media coverage in the UK. Activists from Dundee and Perth joined over 30 others from a range of organisations and communities, reflecting the diversity of the support and solidarity with Palestine. A pitiful contrast was the one Christian Zionist present waving the Israeli flag – without blood stains – in “counter-protest”.

As the demonstration took place a video (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5N7ZKfitew) emerged from Palestine showing a brutal attack by Israeli Occupation Forces on 15 year old Tarek Abu Khdeir, the cousin of Mohammad Abud Khdeir who it has now been confirmed was tortured and burnt alive last week. A press release from the Khdeir family detailed the attack on Tarek:

Despite needing critical medical attention for severe injuries to his head and face, the Israeli authorities denied medical treatment for 5 hours before he was transferred to Hadassa Hospital. He was then taken directly to court and is currently in detention at the notorious Russian compound (al-Maskobiya), known for brutal interrogation techniques.

His father, Salah Abu Khdeir, asked that his son be seen at a hospital of the family’s choosing, but was denied, and was subsequently denied having an Arab doctor present during Tarek’s treatment. Although his son was unconscious, he was chained to the bed. While in the hospital, his face had swollen to a degree to which he could not speak when conscious and blood was also found in his urine, concerning family that there could be internal bleeding...

Tarek is in dire need of medical attention and his family is calling for his immediate release after this brutal beating and arbitrary arrest.

Speeches were delivered by the Chair of the Aberdeen branch of CND and the Imam of Aberdeen mosque. Vice-chair of Aberdeen SPSC branch Ally Coutts spoke at the demonstration on recent events, highlighting the way Israel is once again using the violence of a few individuals to justify collective punishment of Palestinians and to vilify and isolate Hamas. A statement from Gazan grassroots activist Rafat Abushaban was then read out, detailing the impact of the latest Israeli airstrikes on those living in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The response of the Aberdeen public was largely positive, from people of all different backgrounds, with some expressing interest in knowing more about the ongoing Nakba in Palestine, and joining Scottish PSC.

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