Hundreds of people joined a protest in Guildhall Square to call for an end to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The Palestinian flag was paraded around on Saturday as protesters showed support for its citizens - including 90-year-old Barbara Luppton.

She said: “There is a massacre happening in Palestine and it’s got to stop.

“I’m 90 now and I am sick and tired of men’s wars which kill women and children.

“I’ve seen it all my life and its time to stop it – that’s why I’m here today and that is why I'll be here every time Southampton meets for Palestine.”

READ MORE: How Israel-Hamas conflict is affecting Southampton people
Daily Echo: Barbra Luppton is calling for a cease fire in GazaBarbra Luppton is calling for a cease fire in Gaza (Image: NQ)At the beginning of October, the armed Palestinian group Hamas - which controls the Gaza strip - launched an unprecedented attack against Israeli civilians, killing hundreds of Jewish people and with scores of hostages taken.

In response, Israel has been firing missiles at Hamas strongholds in Gaza, killing Palestinian civilians there in the process, as part of larger plans for a full-blown ground invasion. The conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis in the area.

This latest chapter of violence has roots decades earlier, when Britain took control of Palestine after the ruler of that part of the Middle East - the Ottoman Empire - was defeated in World War One.

The international community gave Britain the task of establishing a "national home" in Palestine for Jewish people.

Tensions grew between the two groups, with Jews claiming it was their ancestral home, and Palestinian Arabs claiming the land was rightfully theirs.

Daily Echo: Julie Pedlow and Ali Mohmed were in attendance to show support for Palestine Julie Pedlow and Ali Mohmed were in attendance to show support for Palestine (Image: NQ)Julie Pedlow, 53, from Winchester and Ali Mohmed, 43, from Bassett were at the protest to show their support for Palestinian civilians caught up in the conflict.

Julie said: “I’m half Irish and the Irish have been in support of Palestine for decades.

“You only have to look at a map from 50 years ago and a map today to see what is happening.

“Poor children are living in the biggest open jail in the world. They are born into misery, their lives are a misery and many of them die in misery.

“If they leave the land their ancestors inhabited for thousands of years – they will never be allowed back. If a Palestinian returns to the land of their birth it is classed as an invasion.

“We are here today to show our support for the people of Palestine and for them to know there are people all across the world that are championing their cause.”

Ali said: “The most distressing thing for me is that children are dying. So many helpless children are dying every day for someone else’s war. It's heartbreak to me.”

Daily Echo: Yassar Mustafa and his son waved a huge Palestine flag at the protestYassar Mustafa and his son waved a huge Palestine flag at the protest (Image: NQ)NHS medic, Yassar Mustafa, 36, said: “I believe we are walking into a genocide. Gaza is being carpet bombed – with almost a green light from Western powers. Thousands of innocent people are dying, the majority children.

“Being a medic and seeing hospitals and ambulances bombed is just devastating.”