HUMZA Yousaf has called on Scottish Labour to “stand firm and back an immediate ceasefire” whilst tabling a parliamentary motion on Gaza to be debated in Holyrood tomorrow (Tuesday, 20 November).

The motion will be the first time the Scottish Parliament has the opportunity to vote for a ceasefire, and follows votes in the Welsh Assembly and the UK Parliament last week, with Scottish Labour and Tory MPs failing to support the latter.

This will be the fourth motion lodged in the Scottish Parliament calling for a ceasefire after Alba MSP Ash Regan, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer and SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart put forward motions earlier in the month.

READ MORE: Scottish Government to hold debate calling for ceasefire in Gaza

The First Minister's motion text states: "That this Parliament unequivocally condemns in the strongest possible terms Hamas’s barbaric and unjustifiable terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens on 7 October, and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages; agrees all human life is equal and abhors the loss of innocent lives and affirms the right of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security; agrees the killing of innocent civilians in Gaza, including women and children who have been besieged by Israeli forces, must stop; associates itself with the UN Secretary General’s statements that there must be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to allow civilians to escape harm, for hostages to be released, and for humanitarian aid to reach those in need and affirming that international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions, must be upheld; reiterates its solidarity with Scotland’s Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian communities and condemns antisemitism, Islamophobia or any other form of hatred; welcomes the Scottish Government’s contribution of £750,000 towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s flash appeal for Gaza, and the humanitarian assistance announced by the UK Government; and reaffirms that a credible, lasting and sustainable peace can only be based on the two-state solution through reinvigorated diplomatic and political efforts in the Middle East Peace Process; and agrees with many in the international community that all parties must agree to an immediate ceasefire."

Yousaf called on Anas Sarwar to "stand firm" and "not water down calls for a ceasefire, as it is being reported".

The First Minister's comments come after Scotland on Sunday reported that the Labour leader is set to propose an amendment at Holyrood that would water down the substance of the call for an immediate ceasefire.

However, on BBC on Sunday, Sarwar insisted his party would be “supporting the position that I've set out now for over three weeks.”

Sarwar refused to answer whether he would have voted for the Westminster SNP group amendment calling for a ceasefire in the Commons last week.

READ MORE: British Airways 'profiting from misery' with flight charges for Gaza escapees

Yousaf said: “The Scottish Parliament has an opportunity to unite to send a message of peace to world leaders and to those enduring untold suffering in the Middle East.

“The motion that will be debated, tabled today, condemns the barbaric and unjustifiable actions of Hamas, and echoes the calls of the UN Secretary-General for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

“This is a time for all of us to show leadership in the face of this humanitarian catastrophe. Anas Sarwar must stand firm and back an immediate ceasefire. The motion reflects his own public position on the issue. We will await the detail of the Labour amendment, but it must not water down calls for a ceasefire, as is being reported.

“An immediate ceasefire is the only way to end the tragic deaths of civilians. This week, I urge MSPs of all parties to come together and say enough is enough - the time for a ceasefire is now.”

The National:

A leaked policy note is the source of confusion and conflicting reports, as The Scotsman reported on Sunday that Labour is seeking to U-turn on their stance by lodging an amendment to the Scottish Greens motion, therefore avoiding any clear confrontation with UK leader Keir Starmer.

The note reportedly demands an end to rocket fire, the release of hostages, humanitarian aid supplies allowance, and a two-state solution peace process.

If this was the case, Sarwar, who has previously said there should be a ceasefire in the region “right now”, could face a similar rebellion within Holyrood as Starmer saw in Westminster.

Starmer saw 10 MPs quit his frontbench over the party’s refusal to back a ceasefire, with 56 MPs rebelling to back the SNP motion, which failed to pass.

Greer also called on Sarwar to “resist pressure”.

He said: “Earlier this week many of us commended the conviction of the rebel Labour MPs who stood against Keir Starmer and voted for a ceasefire.

“Anas Sarwar must now find that same conviction and resist pressure from party bosses in London to betray or water down a position we all know he holds. He knows the killing must stop.

“The people of Gaza don’t have time for Labour’s cynical games. They’re dying now. They’re running out of food and water now. They urgently need a lasting ceasefire and humanitarian aid corridors now. International pressure is critical to forcing that end to this slaughter.”