Pro-Palestine protesters have gathered outside a Southampton defence firm calling for an end to the war in Gaza.

Campaigners gathered at the Leonardo factory on First Avenue on Wednesday for a vigil outside the building.

Leonardo is one of the UK's leading aerospace companies and one of the biggest suppliers of defence and security equipment to the UK MoD (Ministry of Defence).

Its Southampton factory manufactures InfraRed (IR) detectors and Thermal Imaging (TI) sensors which play "a crucial role in supporting military, security and civil clients".

This is one of many protests held outside the defence firm factory in the last few months.

Daily Echo: Protestors outside Leonardo factory in SouthamptonProtestors outside Leonardo factory in Southampton (Image: Alice Louisa)

READ MORE: How Palestine protest at defence firm's factory unfolded

Banners were hung on the fence outside the factory reading ‘No More War’ and ‘Stop Arming Israel’.

War broke out on October 7 when Hamas carried out a terror attack on Israel.

Mona Leonard, from Southampton Friends of Palestine, said: “As well as killing over 31,000 people and injuring 70,000 more, the relentless bombing by Israeli forces over the past five months has resulted in widespread hunger due to the destruction of civilian infrastructure and vital facilities.

“Survivors are forced to eat grass and drink dirty water that is making them even iller and weaker.”

Daily Echo: Pro-Palestine protesters have gathered outside a Leonardo factory in SouthamptonPro-Palestine protesters have gathered outside a Leonardo factory in Southampton (Image: Alice Louisa)

She added: “To symbolise the growing famine in Gaza, people at the vigil banged empty pots and pans and held banners reading ‘Gaza hunger is a war crime’ ‘We are a witness to your war crimes’, ‘War starts here, stop arming Israel’ and ‘No More War’ as Leonardo employees and bosses left the factory.

“Previous vigils have involved reading out the names of dead children, decorating the fence with dead flowers to symbolise the young lives being cut short and holding up our hands covered in red paint for a 'Blood on your hands' action.”

Wednesday’s demonstration coincided with a large protest at the company’s Edinburgh factory where workers stopped work at the plant for several hours.

The vigils in Southampton are held every Wednesday from 4pm to 5.30pm.

A Leonardo Spokesperson said: “A group of protestors assembled outside our Southampton site on Wednesday 20 March.

“The safety and well-being of our employees, contractors, and neighbours is our first priority. Leonardo UK complies fully with all the UK Government’s export control protocols, the legal obligations and the processes in place to operate those protocols.”