PRO-Palestine supporters took to the streets of Sunderland in protest aginst the conflict in Gaza.
Demonstrators from Palestinian Solidarity Campaign Sunderland were urged to remain peaceful after men, believed to be from EDL, interrupted speeches.
The Wearside branch of the national group has been set up in the wake of protests across the country.
Dozens attended the demonstration in High Street West waving placards reading ‘End the siege of Gaza’, ‘Free Palestine’, ‘Stop selling arms to Israel’ and ‘Stop the Killing’.
As well as speeches and a moment’s silence, demonstrators read out the names of 2,000 people killed by Israeli attacks.
Organiser Tafazzal Hussain said: “We all know what is happening in Gaza, what Israel is doing. Killing adults and children. As human beings, we want to make people aware of what’s going on, some people may not be aware of what’s happening.
“The demonstrations are happening world-wide and will continue while young children are being killed by the Israeli bombs.”
Close to 2,000 Palestinians have been killed – mostly civilians – and more than 10,000 people have been wounded since the war between Israel and Hamas-led Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip began on July 8, according to United Nations figures.
Syed Ali, a concerned city centre resident, said: “We’re pleased with how many people have come along today, of all nationalities.
“We have a democratic right to express our point of view in a dignified way. Regardless of race, you can’t help but be deeply moved by the victims of this.
“We don’t want any extremism, we want to let people know about this in a peaceful way.”
This is the third war in Gaza since Hamas seized power there in 2007.
It began after Hamas resumed firing rockets at Israel following the arrests of suspected Hamas-affiliated militants in the West Bank.
Israel said the arrests came as part of the investigation into the killing of three Israeli teenagers in June.