Blackburn with Darwen residents are being invited to a peace vigil being held in the square outside the town hall tomorrow

Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum and the council are calling for an end to all violence in and around Israel and Gaza.

It comes after a surprise Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, in which hundreds of civilians were killed, injured or kidnapped, which triggered fresh violence between the terrorist group based in Palestine and the Israeli defence forces.

Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed or injured - many civilians - with thousands more displaced by the violence, which has seen further attacks in Israel and an aerial bombardment of the heavily populated Gaza City in Palestine.

Council leader Cllr Phil Riley and chief executive Denise Park will gather with faith leaders from across the borough for a period of silence.

The peace vigil on Friday, October 20, will take place at 5.30pm until 6pm and will include statements from interfaith representatives, committing to work together for peace.

It comes after a pro-Palestine demonstration was held in Blackburn last weekend, with hundreds in attendance.

Interfaith Forum chair, Abdul Kheratkar, said: “The Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum calls for an end to all violence in and around Gaza.

“The targeting of innocent civilians can never be excused or justified, and we therefore call for peace to enable a way forward to be found and ask for prayers for peace from everyone.”

Both the forum and the council say they understand many residents are affected by the events unfolding daily and want to show their support and solidarity.

Council leader Phil Riley said: “We are all shocked and appalled at the awful violence that has broken out in Israel and Gaza and the loss of so many, many innocent lives.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected.

“The events that are unfolding – and are still unfolding – are deeply distressing and many people in the borough are personally affected and are calling for an end to all the violence and all the killings.

“Our borough stands in solidarity with all who want peace and we can play our part by showing restraint.

“We must never let the frustrations from these atrocities elsewhere spill into our streets. We stand united against terrorism and hatred.”