A HADDINGTON mum of two half-Israeli children has called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas while speaking at a University of Edinburgh student walkout.

Jessica Miller, 28, lives in Haddington with her two children, aged six and three, while their Israeli father lives in Ashkelon, about 16 miles from Gaza.

Miss Miller told the Courier that the war between Israel and Hamas had had a huge impact on her family, forcing some difficult discussions at home.

She said: “The whole situation is terrible. I don’t have much contact with my kids’ dad any more but they were visiting him in the summer, just next to Gaza where the attacks from Hamas happened.

“I couldn’t help but think that if this had happened then, how it could have impacted my kids.

“When it first broke out, I tried to hide it from them but my daughter heard about it at school and came home worried.”

Miss Miller explained that her six-year-old daughter used some Hebrew words and came home asking: “Is my Abba [father] going to be killed?”

The concerned mum said: “It was obviously hard to hear that and I had to reassure her. But the reality is that he had been close to being killed, with the conflict happening just feet away from him.

“I know some of his family were displaced; they’ve found shelter now, I think, but the conflict really hits home.”

Miss Miller spoke at a rally in Bristo Square, Edinburgh, on Friday following the walkout, which she said was attended by about 200 students.

The walkout was organised by Edinburgh University Justice for Palestine Society (EUJPS), in support of those caught up in the conflict.

East Lothian Courier: University of Ediburgh protesters gathered in the capital in support of those affected by the war

In her speech, Miss Miller said: “I, as a mother first and a medical student second, stand with every person who has lost their life in this conflict since it ever started.

“My heart breaks, as I cannot imagine what the mothers whose children’s lives have been taken from this must feel. And I will say that for both Israeli and Palestinian mothers.

“As a medical student, I cannot comprehend the difficulty [faced by] doctors, nurses, students working tirelessly around the clock, with facilities that do not resemble a safe place to be in.

“Hamas or not, continuing forward with actions and punishments that bring suffering to all those who live there is not right.

“What I can say today is stop the bombing on hospitals, stop the bombing on innocent civilians and stop assuming the worst in everyone.

“There are people in the world that say ‘it’s better to kill the children now, even if they are three years old, because they will grow into terrorists’ – my son is three years old. Would it ever be okay for someone to think of killing my own child because of the unknown?”

Israel has denied targeting hospitals and its army has accused Hamas of using medical facilities as command centres and hideouts.

Miss Miller (pictured below) told the Courier that she hoped people would stop choosing sides in the conflict and focus on peace.

East Lothian Courier: Jessica Miller says the Israel and Hamas conflict has been particularly challenging for her

She said: “It’s been tough because I am caught in a difficult position. And, unfortunately, I might get criticised for this but the actions from Israel are harsh at the moment.

“I think it is one thing to bomb terrorists but to be bombing children and women and all the medical people who are just trying to help, it is not okay.

“I think what we are calling for is a ceasefire.

“So much has been put on people to choose a side in this conflict, but choosing a side does not help. We need to come together to move forward.”

Miss Miller said that, while she was aware of some Israeli children being targeted at school, hers had been well supported.

She said: “Thankfully, living in Haddington we have had no issues. The kids have been supported and I know they feel safe, which is good.”