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Protests planned as Scottish Parliament welcomes ‘profiteers of genocide’

PALESTINE solidarity campaigners are planning a reception of their own as Holyrood prepares to welcome “profiteers of genocide.”

Despite the Scottish Parliament backing calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli invasion of Gaza in November, and the International Court of Justice since ruling that there was a “plausible” case that genocide was being committed by Israeli forces, Holyrood is set to host weapons suppliers on February 21.

The reception for aerospace trade body the ADS Scotland Council, which includes firms such as Raytheon Systems — which controversially received £600,000 in Scottish government funding via Scottish Enterprise in 2021 — and drone manufacturer Thales, had been sponsored by Labour MSP Paul Sweeney.

After investigative journalist co-operative the Ferret exposed the reception, Mr Sweeney withdrew his sponsorship, but the corporate body that oversees the operation of the parliament building has taken the unusual step of allowing the event to go ahead without a parliamentary sponsor, adding to the fury felt by campaigners. 

A Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign spokesperson branded the decision to plough on with the reception “despicable,” adding: “The Scottish Parliament is hosting those who profit from the continuation of violence against the Palestinians.  

“Scotland’s economy cannot be dependent on genocide and ethnic cleansing.

“As Gazans starve in makeshift tents and children undergo amputations without anaesthetic, our politicians are wining and dining those who profit from their suffering.  

“We call on the public to join us and make clear our opposition to the Scottish Parliament being used to host profiteers of genocide.

“We call on the Scottish Parliament to cancel this event and refuse to be complicit in Israel’s genocide against Palestinians.”

Edinburgh Gaza Genocide Emergency Committee will hold a protest outside the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday February 21.

The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body and Paul Sweeney were contacted for comment.

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