Rally in Preston to support Palestine
Demonstrators to show solidarity after violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank
A rally is planned in Preston city centre to protest about the Israeli air strikes in Gaza.
Organisers have invited local politicians to speak at the demonstration on Saturday on the Flag Market.
They are calling for a public show of strength and are inviting people to abide by social distancing restrictions.
Ismail Timol, one of the organisers from the campaigning group Children of the Ghetto, said: “The aim of the rally and march is to raise awareness. We hope that people can join us in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
“What is currently happening in Gaza is nothing short of a genocide, where innocent women and children are being massacred.
“The attacks on worshippers at Masjid Al Aqsa, Jerusalem in the last few days of the Holy month of Ramadhan was totally unacceptable.
“The forced evictions of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem is tantamount to ethnic cleansing. All of the above actions by Israel needs to be condemned in the strongest of terms.”
Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick has written to the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to raise his concerns over the outbreak of violence in the Middle East.
In his letter Sir Mark says: "I was horrified to see the violence over the weekend at the Al-Aqsa Masjid in East Jerusalem during which hundreds of Palestinian worshippers have been injured by Israeli Government forces.
"It has been especially alarming to see the indignation of an attack on a place of worship at the most holiest time of the year for Muslims, during Ramadhan.
"Both of these actions are threatening the prospect of peace and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I urge you to join the call with the United Nations to uphold international law and put a stop to the illegal evictions and also to call for an immediate end to the violence by withdrawing the Israel Defense Forces from Al- Aqsa."
Sir Mark is unable to attend the rally but has provided organisers with a statement to be read out on the day.
People are asked to gather at 2pm for a march at 2.30pm followed by a rally at 3.15pm.