The University of Glasgow has been told it is leaving itself at risk as the university court prepares to vote on whether to divest shares in weapons companies.

The vote will take place on Tuesday this week with the university holding £6.8million worth of shares in companies such as BAE Systems and others who are being viewed as complicit in Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

The university’s rector – Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah – ran his campaign on fighting for divestment in weapons companies, winning 80% of the vote, and has told the university that the provisional ruling from the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants leaves it open to liability.

He said: “Morally and ethically ownership of shares in the arms manufacturers that have fuelled this genocide is indefensible, particularly for an educational institution.

READ MORE: An afternoon at the pro-Palestine student encampment at University of Edinburgh

“Legally, the International Court of Justice's provisional ruling and the International Criminal Court's arrest warrants leave Glasgow University exposed to a level of liability that is untenable.”

Protests have been ongoing from students and staff over the course of the year with students from the Glasgow Against Arms and Fossil Fuels movement occupied 11 Hetherington House for 15 days while the Student Representative Council also called on the university to ‘align its financial practices with its commitment to ethical responsibility and social justice, following an unwavering call from the student body’.

As well as all of that, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians issued a formal warning to the Scottish Charity Regulator about the university’s ownership of shares in weapons companies and said it is at risk of being complicit in war crimes and therefore in danger of prosecution in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

A member of Glasgow University Palestinian Society said: “Various student groups and members of staff have been fighting for divestment in a campaign that has been ongoing for the last 10 years, with a rise in mobilization of students over the last few months we demand  the university takes accountability and action to ensure the student voice is heard.”

The university – for its part – has reiterated that it was the first higher education institution to call for the immediate release of hostages and a ceasefire and remains one of the few who continue to do so.

A spokesperson for the university said: "The University of Glasgow was the first HE institution - and still one of only a few -  to call for the immediate release of all hostages and a humanitarian ceasefire.

"Following a petition last semester, the University set up a working group chaired by a lay member of Court (the University’s governing body) to consider the issue of divestment in the defence sector and related matters.

"This group has reported to Court, which is expected to make an announcement this month.

"Working with institutions in the Middle East, we are actively considering what more we can do to support those affected by the conflict."

The move is the latest in a series of actions by students at Scottish universities, protesting Israel's assault on Gaza and calling for a ceasefire. 

Last week students in the capital blocked of the University of Edinburgh's Old College to protest its links to firms supplying Israel.

Campaigners from the Edinburgh University Justice for Palestine Society (JPS) accused the University of Edinburgh of indirectly supporting the war in Gaza through investments in tech companies which supply the Israeli military.

Previously, the group took over the University’s Old College lawn with an encampment, while 22 students went on hunger strike.

They are calling for the university to end its links with Amazon and Alphabet Inc, who they claim have helped develop tech services deployed by Israeli intelligence.

A protesting member of staff said: "The university's response to our demand for divestment and particularly to the student hunger strike has been a repeated bureaucratic stalling method with no commitment to genuine research and engagement with our urgent demands.

“Coming from a university which prides itself on academic expertise, this demonstrates a shocking lack of academic integrity."

The University of Edinburgh did not respond to the Herald's request for comment on its investments, the blockade or protests.