WHARFEDALE Friends of Palestine held a third vigil for the children of Gaza in the market square in Otley on Friday last week.

The event featured candles and 105 pairs of children's shoes laid out, each one representing the children who have lost their lives in Gaza.

A spokesperson for Wharfedale Friends of Palestine said: "The vigil ended with a poem, ‘Strange Groceries’ by Caitlin Johnson, and then Boff Whalley, leader of the Commoners Choir, led the vigil participants in a simple and beautiful round expressing our profound wish for a ceasefire."

The vigil on Friday afternoon was followed on Saturday by a fundraiser for Medical Aid for Palestinians.

From 10am to 2pm there was a stall at the Buttercross in Otley Market Place selling cakes, savouries, jewellery, crafts and badges, and Zaytoun goods, ethically sourced products from Palestine.

Volunteers were also sharing information about Palestine, giving visitors the opportunity to find out more about what's happening and why it's so important that we keep speaking up.

A spokesperson for Wharfedale Friends of Palestine added: "On Saturday people from Otley and Ilkley bought cakes, jewellery and crafts for us to sell at a stall on the Otley Buttercross. We also had olive oil, dates, freekeh and za’atar on sale, imported directly from Palestine, and some very beautiful Palestinian embroidery."

One 95-year-old Otley resident told the Wharfedale Friends of Palestine: "I have made scones for the stall, and found a few bits of jewellery that I no longer need to sell to raise some money. Whenever I see those images on the television I think that those children could be my children, or my grandchildren and great grandchildren. It breaks my heart."

The vigil and the stall together raised £465 for Medical Aid for Palestinians, a well established charity with workers on the ground in Gaza.

A spokesperson for Wharfedale Friends of Palestine said: "Wharfedale has shown so much kindness and compassion. We thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts and would like to confirm that the full amount raised has now been donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians."

A spokesperson for Medical Aid for Palestinians thanked the people of Otley and said: "With your donation we can help provide emergency medical aid when it is needed."

For more information about the Wharfedale Friends of Palestine text - 07790 100989, follow the group on Instagram: @wharfedalefriendsofpalestine or find them on Facebook: Wharfedale Friends of Palestine.