Demonstrators are taking to Bolton Town Hall this Saturday for a vigil as they call for a ceasefire to ‘stop the slaughter’ in Gaza.

The demonstration, set for 11am on Saturday, comes days after Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the border crossing, with the World Health Organization warning that the city’s hospitals will run out of fuel in a matter of days.

More than 1.2 million people are currently sheltering in the southern city, according to the WHO.

Before the war, which started after a Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, the city’s population was below 300,000.

The city is now almost twice as densely populated as New York City, according to Unicef – with half the population children.

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UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Wednesday that humanitarian staff are rationing fuel to stretch what’s available for as long as possible.

“But it is clear that it is a matter of hours, if not days, where we will have no more fuel,” Mr Dujarric said.

Now, demonstrators in Bolton are set to renew calls for an end to the fighting, echoing Bolton North East MP Mark Logan, who called for an ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Parliament on Tuesday.

Bolton for Palestine co-ordinator Neil McAllister said: “It’s unbelievably bleak, really. There’s about a million or so people packed into Rafah.

“People have been chased from one end of Gaza to the other. It’s just unbelievable.”

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Demonstrators plan to show their opposition to the offensive outside the town hall this weekend.

The 64-year-old campaigner, who lives in Halliwell, added: “We’re hoping with the impending threat of the utter annihilation of Rafah, we’re hoping our elected representatives in Bolton and everywhere else stand up and say: enough is enough, this can’t be allowed to continue.

“The vigil will be on Bolton Town Hall’s steps at 11am on Saturday morning. We’re inviting all our elected representatives and newly elected councillors, and our MPs – all Bolton’s democratically elected political representatives to come together and stand behind our banner which says ‘Ceasefire Now, Stop the Genocide’.

“We’re hoping the newly elected councillors, existing councillors, and our three MPs will come together.

“We hope that Mark Logan, Yasmin Qureshi, and Chris Green, and all Bolton Council will stand on Bolton Town Hall’s steps with us for about 30 minutes for an entirely peaceful vigil where we ask for it to finally stop now.”

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