POLITICIANS and faith leaders have come together in both Blackburn and Burnley to call for peace in Gaza and around the world.
Yesterday, a small group held a prayer vigil for world peace outside Blackburn Town Hall.
The event was organised by Little Harwood councillor Naushad Surve, Cathedral dialogue development officer Anjum Anwar, borough leader Kate Hollern, her deputy Mohammed Khan and Canon Shannon Ledbetter.
In Burnley, Central East county councillor Misfar Hassan organised a rally in the town.
Those who attended included council leader Julie Cooper, the town’s MP Gordon Birtwistle, East Lancashire Euro MPs Afzal Khan and Sajjad Karim Father Peter of St Andrew’s Church, Father Michael Waters St John’s Church and leading Muslim clerics. Yesterday Israel's military carried out air strikes in response to fresh rocket fire.
More than 2,080 people, most of them Palestinians, have died since July 8. Coun Hassan told the Burnley rally: “The ongoing conflict In Gaza has consumed thousands of lives including many children and women.
“This situation will have a long-term impact. Our intention is to stop bloodshed and bring about just and lasting peace.”
Mr Birtwistle said: “I went to this well-attended rally to support calls on both sides and the international community to end this bloodshed and bring about a peaceful two-state solution to the conflict.”
Coun Hollern said: “We just have to look back in history about the devastation war brings. I want to give my support to the organisers who are trying to bring different people and different faiths and religions in the borough together to give a united message of peace."
Coun Surve said: “All over the world, there are conflicts which are having a devastating effect on people of all faiths such as the ones in the Middle East and in the Ukraine.
“We wanted to come together, and highlight the terrible consequences of armed struggles on families.
“We are praying all sides in these destructive conflicts come together and work towards peaceful solutions.”