Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Fringe Festival takes over Edinburgh each August

Dozens of protesters have held a demonstration against an Edinburgh Festival show supported by the Israeli government.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) has vowed to continue action until Incubator Theatre production The City is cancelled.

The show, described as a “hip-hop opera”, is due to run at the Underbelly Cow Barn venue in the city’s Bristo Square until August 25.

Mick Napier, secretary of the SPSC, said: “The massacre in Gaza is now well into four figures and overwhelmingly that is civilians and a huge number of children.

“Hospitals and schools are being shelled, some repeatedly, and we find that it’s unacceptable that an Israeli state-sponsored cultural event should go ahead at the Edinburgh Fringe”.

“If the artists were unconnected with the Israeli state we would have no issue with them”.

“Our plan is to protest every day and also to use non-violent direct action to prevent it going ahead.”

An earlier statement from John Stalker Productions, which is promoting the show, said the Jerusalem theatre company receives an element of arts funding from Israel’s Ministry of Culture, among others.

It said: “Incubator Theatre exists to be an agent of significant cultural change in Jerusalem, working in both east and west Jerusalem, and an active force in developing an urban climate of pluralism and openness that accommodates a wide spectrum of opinions and world views.

“This work is of great significance to furthering cross-community dialogue and debate in the region.”

Police Scotland said they were aware of the protest.

A force spokesman said: “We respect individuals’ right to protest peacefully and our officers will facilitate any demonstration with a proportionate and appropriate deployment.

“This will be balanced against the needs and rights of those impacted by the event and the public can be sure that criminal activity will not be tolerated.

“Police Scotland’s priority is to keep people safe and, alongside our partners at the City of Edinburgh Council, we will do our utmost to ensure that performers, spectators, residents and visitors alike are all able to enjoy the Edinburgh Festival to the full.”