Residents in Bolton came out to honour the Palestinian children who have died in the war in Gaza.

A vigil was held outside Bolton Town Hall today (November 4) to mark the deaths of children in Palestine amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Organised by Florence Hill, a 73-year-old former nursery nurse and children’s support worker, and Bernie Gallagher, a 68-year-old former nurse and housing worker, the vigil saw children and parents put soft toys on the town hall steps, with candles placed around a display of empty children’s shoes.

Children waved Palestinian flags, placards were held up and the crowd shouted chants in support of the nation.

The Bolton News: Nazia Ali's sons at the vigilNazia Ali's sons at the vigil (Image: Newsquest)

Nazia Ali attended the march with her children. She said: "The Government needs to call for a ceasefire. You can't just sit at home and let it happen.

"When you have kids yourself of the same age, the images you see haunt you. It's not about race and religion, it's people dying. How can you be okay with a genocide?"

Country director at Save the Children Palestine, Jason Lee, recently said that one child dies every 10 minutes in Gaza.

Nazia's daughter, Zaynab, said: "We are here because one kid dies every 10 minutes and that is horrendous. Kids are 50 per cent of the population, if one dies every 10 minutes then there will be none left soon."

The Bolton News: The vigilThe vigil (Image: Newsquest)

Zaynab continued: "Bonfire night is happening soon - when children in this country hear an explosion, it is a firework. When children there hear an explosion, it is a bomb.

"When children in this country see a plane, we run outside and take pictures. When they see one, they fear."

One Bolton resident, who didn't want to be named, said: "All the children in Palestine are dying. We have children ourselves and we feel their pain.

"Everything that is put on social media is not being shown on the news, it is disappointing. You don't see it on television.

@theboltonnews A vigil was held in Bolton today to honour children killed in Palestine during the current Hamas/Israel conflict. Full story on The Bolton News website. #palestine #vigil ♬ original sound - The Bolton News

"These children are like our children, being Muslim, any Muslim man is my brother and so his pain is mine.

"They are stealing houses, blowing up schools, hospitals, mosques, places of worship. Enough is enough."

Another Bolton resident said: "With Ukraine, it went on for months and years, but Palestine doesn't get the same coverage.

"I have got children, and I wouldn't want that for them."

The Bolton News: Organisers Florence Hill, left, and Bernie Gallagher, rightOrganisers Florence Hill, left, and Bernie Gallagher, right (Image: Newsquest)

The teddy bears left on the steps are being donated to charity.

Organiser, Florence Hill, said: "It has been busy, a good turnout considering there are lots of marches, one in Manchester, one in Birmingham and one in London. We only started getting something together on Tuesday.

"The leaders around the world, including the Government and Keir Starmer, need to get their act together and sort it out, or there will be no children left in Palestine.

"The children feel very strongly because they understand what is happening, they hear their parents talking about it and see the news media.

"We are seeing lots of children at marches, it is not just adults. Some might say you shouldn't expose children to this, but it is what the world is about and you can't just shelter them."

More than 9,400 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza so far, including more than 3,900 Palestinian children, the Gaza Health Ministry said, without providing a breakdown between civilians and fighters.

More than 1,400 people have died on the Israeli side, mainly civilians killed during Hamas’s initial attack on October 7, with more than 200 Israelis taken hostage.