Demonstrators held up Palestine flags as Hyndburn Council voted to unanimously back calls for a ceasefire last week.

Hyndburn's Full Council meeting on Thursday debated a motion calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to step up UK government efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza.

Moved by Church ward Conservative councillors Sajid Mahmood and Loraine Cox, it called for a two-state solution to end the Middle East crisis in the long run.

The motion called for an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza, a negotiation to ensure the immediate release of all hostages and the prompt opening of aid corridors into the territory.

Thus far, neither Israel or Hamas have signalled a desire for a ceasefire.

Thousands of civilians in Israel and the Palestinian enclave of Gaza have been killed since fighting intensified following Hamas' terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, which triggered an Israeli bombardment and subsequent invasion of Gaza.

Demonstrators held banners and Palestine flags in the public gallery at Accrington Town Hall.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Zed Hussain, who was one of the protestors, said: "It has taken three long months and the murder of 24,000 Palestinians for this Tory led council to do the moral and decent thing and back the calls for a ceasefire.”

He also called on Hyndburn MP, Sara Britcliffe, to back the calls for a permanent ceasefire.

So far the Government has backed humanitarian pauses in fighting to allow aid to reach displaced Palestinians and the release of hostages by Hamas and Israel.

Zed added: “Sara Britcliffe has abstained on two key votes (EDM in Parliament calling for a ceasefire back in November), and more recently the Anti-BDS bill.

“Instead, we get political posturing, spin, theatrics and non-commitment from her calling for humanitarian pauses and temporary ceasefires to let aid in.

“We know for a fact that this in the recent past has not stopped the IDF bombing and will not make a dent in pacifying the needs of the Palestinians."

Ms Britcliffe has previously said there has been 'understandable concern with the unfolding events in Gaza and it is only right that their Member of Parliament hears these concerns and feeds them back in to government'.

She said she had outlined concerns to the foreign office, particularly around aid and 'the loss of life in Gaza was devastating'.

Since October 7, around 23,000 people, many of them women and children, have died in Gaza as a result of the conflict.

Fighting has been ongoing for weeks after a Hamas attack in Israel which killed 1,200 people on October 7.