A vigil was held last week in Lancaster to mark the death toll in Gaza.
Over 100 people took part in “Naming Gaza’s Dead” in Dalton Square, on Wednesday August 6, which was organised by Lancaster Palestine Solidarity campaign.
A series of white fabric rolls, over 100 metres in length, displayed the names of almost 600 of the dead Palestinians, almost 400 of these were children. The names stretched through Dalton Square, with a second section standing in front of the Town Hall.
One participant, Gilma Andrade, said: “I am here because I feel that we need to connect, we need to come together, having a presence is sending a message. My worst fear is that the people of Gaza feel abandoned and alone. I wish them to know that we’re here for them today.”
However one resident has expressed her view that it is not just Palestinians who need help but Israelis, who are also suffering through the ongoing conflict.
Leigh Humpage, 53, from Morecambe, who is originally from Israel, is concerned that Lancaster is not seeing the bigger picture.
She said: “I’m astounded by the way the whole situation is being portrayed in the media. “I’m worried how it impacts on the local area. I went down to Preston shopping centre with my daughter into Primark and there where girls wearing save Palestine t-shirts and my daughter said, Mum just leave it. I was like what is going on in Lancashire? Am I supposed to hide in my home because I’m Jewish or Israeli!?”
Hundreds of demonstrations have been held across the UK calling for an end to the fighting between Israel and Gaza.This has caused some tension between local communities with an increasing rise of anti-Semitic attacks.
Mrs Humpage added: “I am worried about the people in this area. When I go out and meet new people do I tell people I’m Israeli? Nobody wins in a war, women and children die. I’m not Anti-Muslim, this is not a race issue. I am proud to be British and Israeli.”
The organisers at the vigil have expressed their gratitude.
Wendy Crones said: “I saw one passer-by with her hand over her mouth overwhelmed by what she was seeing and reading.”