A PALESTINIAN surgeon has won a landslide victory to be elected the new rector of Glasgow University.

Professor Ghassan Abu-Sittah, an alumnus of the Scottish institution and a world-leading expert on war-injured patients and children, won more than 80 per cent of first preference votes – and will be officially installed as rector at a ceremony on April 11.

In February, Abu-Sittah told the National that students had asked him to enter the race – and he felt a “sense of obligation towards a place which was extremely formative in my life”.

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Abu-Sittah, who was born in Kuwait to Palestinians forced to leave their homeland during the 1948 Nakba, has frequently worked in Gaza over the last 25 years.

His experience working as a medic during Israel’s devastating siege after the October 7 Hamas attacks saw him cited in South Africa’s genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

His quote from the ICJ submission reads: "There was a girl with just her whole body covered in shrapnel. She was nine. I ended up having to change and clean these wounds with no anaesthetic and no analgesic. I managed to find some intravenous paracetamol to give her … her Dad was crying, I was crying, and the poor child was screaming …”

In the wake of his election as Glasgow University rector, Abu Sittah said: “In my position as rector I hope to address the challenges that face our communities, on and off campus.

“I aim to be the voice of students, to give them an opportunity to express their utter disapproval of the genocide being committed in Gaza. I will echo the demands on campus calling for divestment from the arms trade.

“This is a responsibility that I take very seriously and a position that I consider with great importance.”

Abu-Sittah beat Labour MSP Paul Sweeney, Scots comic Susie McCabe, and the former incumbent judge Lady Rita Rae in the rector elections.

One of his key policies was to see Glasgow University divest from any investment benefitting from the arms trade with Israel.

Beesan Shroof, the president of the Glasgow University Palestine Society, welcomed Abu-Sittah’s win.

Shroof said: “This incredible turnout for Dr Ghassan speaks volumes. It shows exactly where Glasgow students stand, and we do not stand for genocide.

“It is time that senior management listen to the voices of their students calling for divestment from arms companies responsible for the killing of thousands of civilians.”