Hundreds came together in Bury town centre on Sunday to "love, not hate" and stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Families and friends congregated for a protest at Whitehead Gardens, waving flags and placards with chants to "free Palestine".

Bury Times: Peaceful demonstration to ‘free Palestine’

It comes as violence continues in Gaza amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

Thousands of people have died in the conflict.

The BAME Project, which aims to integrate "our diverse community",  played a key role in organising the demonstration.

Bury Times: Ummrana Farooq

Project founder, Ummrana Farooq, who is also the council's deputy cabinet member for communities, said: “We are all saddened by what we have seen on social media and on the television.

“We wanted to come together, pray as one voice and send a message to the government for immediate cease fire.

“Every town every city, we should all come out and call for a cease fire and support Palestine.

“We have been expecting around 200 people to come but I have had lots of message from people, not just Bury, to let me know they will be here so it is great to see so much support.”

Bury Times: Peaceful demonstration to ‘free Palestine’

The Gaza Health Ministry said the death toll among Palestinians passed 8,000 on Monday.

Read more: Prestwich mum fears for daughter’s life after being trapped in Gaza

Bury Times: Liaqat Ali

Liaqat Ali, chairman of the Bury Faith Forum and the Bury Islamic Centre said he wants to share a message of "love, not hate".

He said: “People are coming together to raise their concern about the killing of innocent people on both sides.

“It upsets so many families and we should be telling the world that this must stop.

“We don’t seem to learn our lessons from history and past events.

Bury Times: Peaceful demonstration to ‘free Palestine’

“During the second world war, our Prime Minister said the only hope we have is the UN…well we have the UN and they have voted for a cease fire, but nothing seems to have happened.

“We need work towards a real solution. In the past Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths have lived together with no problem.

“I am asked what the solution for the middle eastern conflict and I say it is easy, one man one vote and it will resolve the problem.”

He added: “I don’t think everyone is aware of what is happened and events like this can help.

Bury Times: Peaceful demonstration to ‘free Palestine’

“Islam is a loving, peaceful religion and people translate that wrongly and it is a shame.

“We all need to love, not hate”.

Bury Times: Peaceful demonstration to ‘free Palestine’

Several speakers took to the steps in the gardens to address crowds.

During the event, a 53 year old man was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace but was released after the protest ended. 

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: “Yesterday, October 29, police were on hand to offer visibility and reassurance at a planned vigil which took place in Whitehead Gardens, Bury, in response to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.”

Bury Times: Adam Rose, from Whitefield

One demonstrator, Adam David Rose, from Whitefield, said he hoped the crowds would demonstrate that the "people of Bury are opposed to what is going on".

He said: “Over the last few weeks and particularly the last few days there has been a lot of outrage over the bombings in Gaza and the things that the Israeli government are doing to the people of Gaza.

“There is terrible barbarity happening and it is getting worse. We have had large demonstrations in Manchester, Bolton and across the country and I hope the size of those demonstrations can stop the British government from supporting Israeli and being complicit of the murder taking place in Gaza."

The demonstration was organised by the BAME Project in partnership with Bury Active Women's Centre and Smile Aid Charity.