THOUSANDS of people surrounded the Mirror Pool in Bradford last night to hear George Galloway MP and other speakers at an emergency pro-Palestine demonstration.

Centenary Square was a sea of flags and placards for the Stop the Massacre: Side with Palestine protest, ringing out to chants of ‘Free, Free Palestine’.

The demonstration was organised following a Facebook campaign to show solidarity with Palestinians and demand justice and freedom for them.

The United Nations says 17,000 people have already sought refuge in shelters as Israeli air strikes continued for a sixth successive day yesterday. Israeli forces have raided a suspected rocket-launching site in Gaza in their first reported ground incursion.

At least 159 Palestinians have been killed since Israel’s offensive began, according to health officials in Gaza.

Alongside Bradford West MP Mr Galloway, Lauren Booth and journalist Yvonne Ridley also spoke.

From the steps of Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court, Mr Galloway said: “The people of Bradford are free people.

“We are raising our fists, hands and banners and are speaking against this injustice.

“The truth is none of this is able to shield the Palestinian people against bombardment while families are wiped out.

“The Israelis are killing women and children. It’s gone on this week and for decades past. There is no peace because there is no justice.

“I’m more proud of the people of Bradford tonight than I have ever been before.”

During his 15-minute speech, Mr Galloway also blasted the BBC’s coverage of the conflict and also the stance taken by Prime Minster David Cameron, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for the “absolute silence of the leaders of the British political class”.

He even declared he would stop paying his TV licence fee in protest at the BBC’s coverage.

Councillor Imran Hussain, deputy leader of Bradford Council, said: “We want to send one message, we want to condemn the brutal killing, the brutal massacre, of men, women and children in Gaza.”

The end of the 90-minute demonstration triggered many of those who attended to sound their car horns continuously as they left Bradford city centre.