STUDENTS have formed a blockade at a Scottish university in protest over the institution’s investments in firms linked to Israel.

Edinburgh University’s Old College was blocked by protesters led by the university’s Justice for Palestine Society on Friday morning.

They want Edinburgh University to divest from the web retailer Amazon and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc.

Both are partners in Project Nimbus, a tech project which gives the Israeli state and its military access to cloud computing infrastructure, artificial intelligence and other services.

READ MORE: Hundreds of Glasgow University staff urge management to divest from arms trade

Protesters say the university is “complicit in genocide” because of its investments in the companies. They said the university had £4.9 million invested in Amazon and £2.7m in Alphabet Inc.

And they claim the “overwhelming” support in their protest from the student body, saying that a recent student council meeting passed a motion recommending divestment by 97%.

Campaigners are putting on the pressure ahead of a vote of the university court on Monday where members will decide whether to divest the university from the companies.

Peter Mathieson, principal of Edinburgh University, said: "We fully support the right to take part in lawful, peaceful protest, and we appreciate that the protests before today had been peaceful and respectful.

"We are therefore concerned to see today’s actions and the impact this may have on our university community."

"We have acted in good faith and engaged with the protestors to listen to and respond to their demands, at pace. A number of meetings have taken place over the last few weeks with student and staff representatives to discuss the definition of armaments and how that affects the university’s investment portfolio."

He added that the university court would meet on Monday 17 June where a report on the institution's definition of weapons as it relates to its investments would be discussed. 

Mathieson added: "University court is the university’s governing body and we will not pre-empt these discussions.

"This is an ongoing process and I hope that this dialogue with our student and staff community will continue in a spirit of understanding and collaboration rather than disruption and escalation."

Amazon declined to comment.

Alphabet Inc was approached for comment.