Israel-Gaza war: Peace protest held in Sussex

The Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign (BHPSC) held a vigil at the The Peace Statue on Hove seafront. Photo: Eddie Mitchell
The Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign (BHPSC) held a vigil at the The Peace Statue on Hove seafront. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

The Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign (BHPSC) held a vigil at the The Peace Statue on Hove seafront at 2pm today (Sunday, October 22).

“Join the Brighton vigil for Gaza to demand a ceasefire NOW,” a statement on X (formerly Twitter) read.

More than 200 people gathered to hear speeches from Stop the War Coalition campaigners, local Quakers, Israeli dissidents and Palestinians.”

A campaign spokesperson added: “[There was an] impassioned speech from local Palestinian Marwan who has unimaginably lost 40 members of his extended family in Gaza.”

Thousands of people have died during a huge conflict between Israel and Gaza this month.

Israel has denied claims that it launched a deadly airstrike on a hospital in Gaza which resulted in the death of hundreds, instead claiming the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad are to blame. Both sides deny responsibility for the incident.

It comes after Hamas – a Palestinian militant group which rules the Gaza Strip – killed 1,300 people in Israel and kidnapped hundreds of others.

According to the BBC, Israel's military has ‘vowed to intensify air strikes’ on Gaza and has warned Palestinians still in the north of the territory to flee south.

A BBC report read: “A military spokesman said this would allow Israel to ‘minimise the risks to our forces in the next stages of the war’ – which is expected to be a ground invasion.

"Photos from a central Gaza hospital show lines of bodies, including at least 12 children. It is not clear when or where they died.”

The BHPSC was founded in 1997.

A statement on its website reads: “We campaign for the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and the right of return for refugees.

“Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called today’s vigil for Gaza to provide a space for the people of this city to demonstrate our solidarity with the people of Palestine. Although our hearts and our minds are naturally focused today on Gaza, we’re here to show our solidarity for all Palestinians – including those throughout historic Palestine and around the world.

“We’re here to use our collective voice to demand: an immediate ceasefire [and] immediate humanitarian aid for Gaza (food, water, fuel & medical supplies).”

West Sussex MPs Gillian Keegan and Nick Gibb have written to schools to offer advice about how to discuss the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza.

Sussex MP and education secretary Gillian Keegan wrote on X earlier this week: “Following Hamas' barbaric terrorist attacks in Israel, Robert Halfon (minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education), Nick Gibb (Bognor & Littlehampton MP and minister of state for schools) and I have written to schools and colleges to provide advice on how they discuss these issues with young people.

"Antisemitism will not be tolerated in our education system.”

Mrs Keegan, Conservative MP for Chichester, also addressed the ongoing conflict in her Chichester Observer column.

She said: “This week, I’ve been speaking with school leaders across the country to offer my support to Jewish students during what I know has been an incredibly difficult time. It’s been deeply concerning to see a rise in antisemitism in our schools and on our university campuses following Hamas’ horrific terrorist attacks in Israel.

"Myself and my ministerial team are working closely with the education sector to ensure that swift and decisive action is taken against any threats, be they implicit or explicit, to the safety and welfare of Jewish people. As your MP, I will do everything in my power to ensure that the Jewish community in Chichester feel safe and free to go about their lives without fear of harassment or intimidation.”