Concerns have been raised about a rise in antisemitism in Scotland as conflict escalates between Hamas and Israel.

Jewish groups have spoken out after Hamas militants unleashed an offensive from the Gaza strip at the weekend, which is reported to have killed hundreds of people.

The attack sparked a military retaliation from Israel, which has also been accused of killing civilians

Responding to the violence, The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities released a joint statement with the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council stating they are "horrified" by the "barbaric attack" by Hamas. 

Read more: Tributes paid to Scottish man killed by Hamas

They said:  "Hamas terrorists have indiscriminately murdered innocent men, women, and children, and have taken hostage old people, including Holocaust survivors, and young children.

"Nothing can justify such acts – nothing.

"The vast majority of Jewish people in Scotland have friends and family in Israel, and our thoughts and condolences are with all those affected.

"We sadly already know of a number of families in our community who have lost loved ones, and tragically there may well be more.

"In Scotland, unfortunately, we know that when conflict escalates in the Middle East, we see antisemitism rise in the UK."

The Herald: SNP leader Humza Yousaf said some of his family are trapped in GazaSNP leader Humza Yousaf said some of his family are trapped in Gaza (Image: PA)

The groups thanked the Community Security Trust (CST) and Police Scotland for their efforts to keep Jewish communities safe. 

They also praised First Minister Humza Yousaf MSP for his comments "unequivocally condemning" the actions of Hamas.

The statement said: "As he acknowledged, although we have family on opposite sides of the border, we are equally concerned for their safety.

"Let us all hope and pray for a speedy resolution to this conflict, an end to terrorism and extremism, and a peaceful future for all."

Read more: Humza Yousaf says family are trapped in Gaza amid Israel conflict

The groups encouraged anyone who suffers an antisemitic or racist incident to report it to the police, CST or Scottish Council of Jewish Communities with as much detail as possible. 

Around 700 people are said to have been killed and dozens kidnapped after Hamas launched the attack on Israel on Sunday (October 8). 

While Israeli air strikes in response have reportedly killed more than 400 people, including 20 children. 

Responding to the violence, the secretary general of Amnesty International said the charity is "deeply alarmed"  by the mounting civilian death tolls in Gaza, Israel, and the occupied West Bank, and is urging all parties to abide by international law and avoid further civilian bloodshed. 

Agnès Callamard said: “Deliberately targeting civilians, carrying out disproportionate attacks, and indiscriminate attacks which kill or injure civilians are war crimes.

"Israel has a horrific track record of committing war crimes with impunity in previous wars on Gaza.

"Palestinian armed groups from Gaza, must refrain from targeting civilians and using indiscriminate weapons, as they have done in the past, and most intensively in this event, acts amounting to war crimes.”

More than 187,500 people have been displaced since the escalation of conflict, the UN has said.