Hundreds attend Dewsbury rally to pray for peace in Israel

Hundreds of people gathered in Dewsbury town centre on Tuesday evening to call on local councillors, their MP and the British Government to help resolve the unrest in Israel.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 5:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 5:20 pm
Crowds at the peaceful protest outside Dewsbury Town Hall on Tuesday evening

The event was organised by the local branch of Friends of Al Aqsa, a UK based NGO working towards bringing peace to the holy lands, following an attack at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on the holiest night of the Islamic calendar.

Violence has continued to escalate in the area over the past few days.

A range of speakers urged local councillors, Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the UK Government to take action to resolve the unrest.

The rally was attended by the Mayor of Kirklees Coun Mumtaz Hussain, Coun Aafaq Butt, Coun Mussarat Pervaiz and Coun Fazila Loonat.

Mr Eastwood did not attend but in a message to the organisers he said: "This is some of the worst violence we have witnessed in Jerusalem and Israel for many years. International efforts must be made to de-escalate the situation immediately.

"I have written to the Foreign Secretary to stress the need for the UK to maintain its firm opposition to settlements and evictions orders, placing pressure on the Israeli Government to step back from these policies and explore ways to de-escalate the situation."

A spokesperson for the Friends of Al Aqsa said organisers took measures to ensure the public gathering could go ahead in a Covid-secure manner.

The rally outside Dewsbury Town Hall ended with prayers for peace.

Smoke flares were also released to light up the sky in the colours of the Palestinian flag.