Campaigners gathered in Newcastle city centre to raise awareness of the deaths of children in Palestine.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a peaceful rally outside of Haymarket on Saturday, November 19, to highlight the deaths of children during the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
More than 125 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem this year, according to the UN’s Middle East envoy. The fighting has surged since a series of Palestinian attacks killed 19 people in Israel in the spring.
The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting against incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war and has built more than 130 settlements there, many of which resemble small towns, with apartment blocks, shopping centres and industrial zones. The Palestinians want the West Bank to form the main part of their future state, and most countries view the settlements as a violation of international law.
The protest in Newcastle was held to mark World Children’s Day on Sunday, which aims to promote international togetherness and improve children’s welfare.
The UN envoy said 32 Palestinians including six children have been killed by Israeli soldiers so far this year with calls for the killings to end. A crowd carrying Palestinian flags and banners gathered to listen to speeches during the demonstration.
David Harrop, a founding member of the Palestine-UK Social Work Network, was one of the speakers.
“We want to raise awareness locally of the children being killed in Palestine,” he told Chronicle Live. “We are drawing people together through common-shared grief which is really powerful.”
Stephen Watters organised the demonstration said that the killing of children has to stop.
“Kids have been shot dead, not in crossfire, but deliberately,” he said.
“On Sunday it is World Children’s Day so we wanted to raise awareness because it has got to stop. Hopefully, this is the start of more [action].”