Hundreds of protestors gathered across towns in Dorset last night to call for a halt to the threatened invasion of Rafah in Gaza.

There are 1.5 million Palestinians seeking refuge in the city which borders Egypt and after peace talks between Hamas and Israel broke down, those living in the city have been been told to move to a 'humanitarian zone' north west of the city.

This is to avoid being harmed in an imminent attack by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) as the fighting continues in the region. 

Following this news, demonstrators gathered by the town pump in Dorchester and the Jubilee Clock Weymouth Esplanade on Tuesday, May 7.

Dorset Echo: Protesters in Weymouth Protesters in Weymouth (Image: Dorset Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

Protesters also gathered in Bridport and Bournemouth.

They have called on the British government to end its complicity in the war and for an immediate permanent ceasefire.

In Weymouth, Ghazal, an 18 year old Palestinian, from the West Bank, told protestors: "Growing up in Palestine meant growing up not knowing what freedom felt like.

"Growing up in Palestine meant growing up with dreams I could not imagine achieving.

"Growing up in Palestine meant having to cross two or more borders every time I wanted to see my family. To have machine guns pointed at your car. If you flinch or make a wrong move, you and your whole family are in danger of getting killed. 

Dorset Echo: Protesters in DorchesterProtesters in Dorchester (Image: Dorset Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

"I cannot express in words how happy I am that we are finally making a change and that people all over the world are speaking up supporting the Palestinians."

Becky Brookman, chair of Dorset Palestine Solidarity Campaign, told the rally in Dorchester: “All over the world people are calling for ‘Ceasefire Now’. We join them in wishing for an end to this slaughter which has taken so many victims.

“We call on our government to stop supplying arms to Israel and to tell President Biden to stop sending the weapons aimed at defenceless people.”

School student, Harry, who has helped organise student walk-outs and protests, said: “We are part of an international movement that calls on Israel to stop right now. Israel's overwhelming military power has produced tens of thousands of deaths and injuries. It’s time for immediate ceasefire.”

Dorset Echo: Protesters in BridportProtesters in Bridport (Image: Dorset Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

In March, students in Dorchester joined a protest in support of Palestinians on International Women's Day, including students from the Thomas Hardye School.

Campaigners have also staged a protest outside a branch of a Barclay's bank in Dorchester saying it is ‘bankrolling’ Israel’s war with Hamas, and have marched on McDonalds in Weymouth.

Members of the Dorset Palestine Solidarity Campaign also took part in a march in London on Armistice Day last November.