Bradford on Avon Friends of Palestine have now cancelled all their events to mark the group’s 10th anniversary since their creation following the war between Israel and the Hamas militant group.

This has included the full schedule drawn up over the past few months planning for the visiting delegation from the town of Tubas on Israel’s West Bank.

The group has formed an official friendship link with Tubas over the past three years and had invited a party of seven representatives to its celebrations this week.

The situation changed on Saturday, October 7 when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, killing more than 1,400 people and taking scores of hostages.

The group said: “Nothing justifies the horrific actions by Hamas on Saturday, 7th October or the taking of hostages. But where is our government’s equal condemnation of Israeli’s war crimes?

“Indiscriminate and constant bombing; cutting off all the water necessary for life; electricity, medical and food supplies for the millions of Palestinians in Gaza, causing immeasurable suffering, with so many Gazan civilians killed or injured, including children and babies.

“Even humanitarian and medical staff are being killed. We watched the complete devastation as a million Palestinians are forced into exile again.

“This deteriorating situation will break all established protocols agreed at the United Nations (to which Israel is a signatory yet continuously ignores.)

“How bad do conditions have to get for Israel to be challenged and held to account?

“We hope and pray that President Biden’s visit will help to de-escalate the dire situation and also prevent a greater war in the Middle East.”

Want to see fewer adverts and more exclusives on the Wiltshire Times? Become a digital subscriber now for just £5 for five months

The Friends of Palestine had planned two events for their 10th anniversary: one at Chalfield Manor on Wednesday, October 18 and the second at St Margaret’s Hall in Bradford on Avon on Thursday, October 19.

The BoAFOP said: “Bradford on Avon Friends of Palestine cancelled all their events to mark the 10th anniversary since their creation.

“This included the full schedule drawn up for the visiting delegation from Tubas, as well as Chalfield Manor.

“Dr Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, who was to have attended our main event, cancelled all his regional appointments due to the need to speak to a wider media.”

Several members of the Tubas delegation had got as far as the Jordanian border before the decision to cancel was made and the mayor of Tubas was already in the UK.

The BoAFOP said: “Over 50 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in the West Bank, which is far from Gaza, so travelling can be perilous.

“Sanaa, the young sports teacher, was anxious to return home to Tubas and was lucky to get transport.

“She had a frightening experience when Israeli soldiers boarded the bus, harming some of the male passengers including the driver. Thankfully she got home uninjured.

“Because of the dangers to men, Jalal, the retired headteacher and Nazeem, the youth worker, are still at the Jordanian border waiting for safety on the roads to improve.

Last year in October, the first International Walk was held in Bradford on Avon with Ukrainian, Syrian and families of all nationalities living in the area.

The BoAFOP is holding it again this Sunday, October 22. Sign up at Westbury Gardens from 1.15pm to leave at 1.30pm.

“Local cafes will kindly be donating cakes to be eaten at the halfway point at the Cross Guns pub at Avoncliff, whom we thank for their hospitality,” the group added.