Metro Mayor visits Jewish and Muslim leaders amid ‘heartbreaking’ Middle East crisis

The Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region has met with the area’s Jewish and Muslim communities amid the ongoing “heartbreaking” scenes in the Middle East.

On 7 October, Hamas – a group proscribed as terrorists by the UK government – launched an attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. More than 1,400 people were killed and 241 people were taken hostage. In a series of retaliatory strikes by Israel, more than 9,000 people have been killed with troops and tanks sent into the territory.

Addressing the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Steve Rotheram revealed he has met with Jewish and Muslim leaders across the six council areas on Merseyside amid the “terrible” conflict in the Middle East.

Liverpool has one of the oldest Muslim communities in the UK, while the city was once home to more than 10,000 Jewish people. It is thought that number is around 2,000 today.

Mr Rotheram described the attack on Israel last month as a “horrendous” act and said he had been in conversation with communities ever since. Among the locations he has visited was the Wirral Deen Centre in Birkenhead, which acts as both a place of worship and a centre for the whole community to use for communal activities.

The Metro Mayor said, “I visited the Wirral Deen Mosque to meet with community leaders about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. This follows on from a recent visit I made to King David High School where I held a round table with members of the Jewish community following the horrendous terrorist attack on 7 October.

“The situation in the Middle East is heartbreaking and we have to watch those pictures night after night, and I know from my conversations it’s a terrible time for everyone involved. My thoughts, of course, are first and foremost with those who are presently suffering.

“We are hoping to make an announcement on something that we will collectively do in the Liverpool City Region in regard to this in the near future.”

Since Hamas launched its action, Israel has blocked supplies of water, electricity, food and fuel from its border into Gaza. Political leaders in the UK have called for a ceasefire, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urging for a “humanitarian pause.”

Israeli president, Benjamin Netanyahu. has also rejected calls for a ceasefire amid a number of battles breaking out across the territory.

Lead image: Wirral Deen Centre in Birkenhead, which acts as both a place of worship and a centre for the whole community to use for communal activities

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Steve Rotheram met with Jewish communities at King David High School, Liverpool