Activist heading off to Gaza despite being held at gunpoint

Theresa McDermott is planning another trip to Gaza

By Cara Sulieman

A SCOT who had a gun held against her head by an Israeli soldier during a raid on a aid flotilla that left nine dead is getting ready for another trip to Gaza.

Theresa McDermott was on the convoy of six ships taking aid to the war-torn Gaza strip that was stormed by Israeli commandos at the end of May.

The postal worker had a soldier point a gun against her head and threaten to kill her after her ship was boarded by forces as they tried to deliver aid to the blockaded Palestinian strip.

Her boat was near the MV Mavi Marmara which soldiers opened fire on after apparently coming up against fierce resistance from the activists on board.

Despite this, and previous experiences where Theresa has been arrested and jailed by Israeli forces, she is planning another flotilla with the Free Gaza group in October.

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Fears grow for Gaza mercy mission Scots

By Paul Thornton

FEARS grew last night for the safety of five Scottish peace activists who were caught-up in the Israeli capture of a convoy of ships taking aid to Gaza.

Theresa McDermott, 43, and Ali Awaisi, 21, Hasan Nowarah, 45, Hassan Ghani, 24, were among hundreds of campaigners on six ships heading to the war-torn Gaza strip.

Israeli commandos stormed the flotilla on Sunday night into yesterday morning, killing at least 10 people and injuring many more.

Some reports have placed the death toll as high as 19.

Another Scot is believed to be part of the group, the survivors of which are believed to be being held by Israeli authorities.

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George Galloway heads stateside for new career

By Zoe Keown

FORMER Scots Labour MP George Galloway is hoping to launch a new career in Hollywood presenting documentary films.

Keen to follow in the footsteps of left-winged film maker Michael Moore, Galloway is set to tackle the Palestinian troubles in Gaza.

He said: “I’m off to California on Saturday to speak to people in the film business about a long-standing idea I’ve had to do a Michael Moore type treatment of the Palestinian conflict.

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Political leaders back Gaza appeal

By Michael MacLeod

HOLYROOD’S political leaders have joined forces appealing for Scots to dig deep for victims of the Gaza conflict.

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon hit out at BBC and Sky News’ “downright wrong” decision not to screen an appeal for aid.

She teamed up with MSPs from each of the Scottish Parliament’s political parties to back the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for the Gaza crisis.

And despite being shunned by two huge TV corporations, the cash raised doubled overnight to more than £1 million after stations including ITV, Channel 4 and Five broadcast the DEC appeal.

In the past three weeks 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed in the conflict.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I think the BBC’s decision is downright wrong and it’s rather insulting to their viewers because I think people can distinguish between taking a side in a political dispute and responding to humanitarian need.

“I personally will be contributing to this appeal and I hope Scots will continue their proud record in donating to appeals.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in Scotland who’s not been moved by the pictures we’ve seen on our televisions of the devastation in Gaza.”

Scots have a “clear responsibility” to donate to the appeal, according to Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Greens leader.

He said: “We have a clear responsibility as people living in a developed and relatively safe country not to take that for granted and not pretend that everybody lives in the same conditions.

“I’ll be making a donation and I hope people will at least look at the DEC website and consider donating to this urgent situation.”

After an 18 month blockade of Gaza and three weeks of heavy shelling, the DEC say the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is now “completely overwhelming.”

Around 500,000 people are without running water, while electricity supplies to Gaza are erratic with 75 per-cent of the area cut off completely.

Judith Roberston, Scotland’s DEC chair, says 1.1 million people are dependent upon aid to survive.

She said: “They are in need of really basic supplies like food and water, so we are looking for money to truck in that aid to people.

“It’s a collaborative effort between all the major charities, which allows us all to use the money we’re saving and plough as much of it as possible into practical help.

“Clearly we are disappointed at the BBC and Sky News not taking part in this instance, however our priority is making sure people in Scotland give to this appeal.”

Sturgeon says BBC Gaza snub was “downright wrong”

dec gaza appeal

By Michael MacLeod

HOLYROOD’S political leaders have joined forces appealing for Scots to dig deep for victims of the Gaza conflict.

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon hit out at BBC and Sky News’ “downright wrong” decision not to screen an appeal for aid.

She teamed up with MSPs from each of the Scottish Parliament’s political parties to back the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for the Gaza crisis.

And despite being shunned by two huge TV corporations, the cash raised doubled overnight to more than £1 million after stations including ITV, Channel 4 and Five broadcast the DEC appeal.

In the past three weeks 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed in the conflict.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I think the BBC’s decision is downright wrong and it’s rather insulting to their viewers because I think people can distinguish between taking a side in a political dispute and responding to humanitarian need.

“I personally will be contributing to this appeal and I hope Scots will continue their proud record in donating to appeals.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in Scotland who’s not been moved by the pictures we’ve seen on our televisions of the devastation in Gaza.”

Scots have a “clear responsibility” to donate to the appeal, according to Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Greens leader.

He said: “We have a clear responsibility as people living in a developed and relatively safe country not to take that for granted and not pretend that everybody lives in the same conditions.

“I’ll be making a donation and I hope people will at least look at the DEC website and consider donating to this urgent situation.”

dec gaza appeal

After an 18 month blockade of Gaza and three weeks of heavy shelling, the DEC say the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is now “completely overwhelming.”

Around 500,000 people are without running water, while electricity supplies to Gaza are erratic with 75 per-cent of the area cut off completely.

Judith Roberston, Scotland’s DEC chair, says 1.1 million people are dependent upon aid to survive.

She said: “They are in need of really basic supplies like food and water, so we are looking for money to truck in that aid to people.

“It’s a collaborative effort between all the major charities, which allows us all to use the money we’re saving and plough as much of it as possible into practical help.

“Clearly we are disappointed at the BBC and Sky News not taking part in this instance, however our priority is making sure people in Scotland give to this appeal.”

Protestors take to city streets

By James Martin

MORE than 100 pro-Palestinian campaigners have gathered outside Edinburgh University in a protest against Israeli military action in Gaza.

 The demonstration, called ‘Stop Bombing Gaza: Ceasefire Now’, took place in the city’s Bristo Square featuring marching and chants calling for an end to Israeli military action in Gaza.

And the demonstration passed peacefully unlike many of the pro-Palestinian rallies elsewhere in Europe which have resulted in arrests.

Holding banners reading “Stop The Massacre” and “End The Siege”, students marched round Edinburgh chanting: “Occupation is a crime, free, free, Palestine”.

The students – which included representatives from the Edinburgh University Palestine Solidarity Society – concluded their march outside Holyrood.

Australian student, Yasmin Bushby, called for an end to hostilities which have left hundreds of innocent civilians dead. 

She said: “I’m not going to comment on the complexities of sixty years of conflict and obviously we also want an end to the rockets damaging life in southern Israel. 

 “But what we want above all is an end to violence and then an attempt to try and establish peace between Israel and Gaza.”

 Simon Hodge, a radio producer from Fife, joined in the protest after being unable to attend Saturday’s main rally in the city.

He said: “I felt compelled to attend because it’s too easy to say it doesn’t affect us, so we therefore don’t need to attend. 

 “Innocent civilians are dying and we have to stand together and ask our leaders to try and bring about pressure for a ceasefire.

 “Unfortunately, I don’t think it can happen until America puts pressure on Israel to end its campaign.”

The Israeli army started its campaign to destroy the terrorist branch of Hamas in Gaza nearly three weeks ago, with around a thousand Palestinians, some of whom were innocent civilians, believed to be dead.

Around 4,000 protestors marched through Edinburgh last week, with demonstrations at the gates of the American consulate resulting in the throwing of shoes and red paint.