Pro-Palestine protestors descended on the North East base of an Israeli defence firm on Saturday morning.

Demonstrators held up prop babies which were removed by police at the scene.

They were protesting outside the factory of defence firm Rafael on Scotswood Road in Newcastle, near Scotswood bridge.

The Northern Echo: Demonstrators flew flags and held up prop babies.Demonstrators flew flags and held up prop babies. (Image: NNP)

Rafael is an Israeli firm, majority owned by the state. It acquired Newcastle-based Pearson Engineering to take over the site in September 2022.

One protestor held a sign reading “Shut down Rafael”.

The Northern Echo: A sign reads Shut down Rafael.A sign reads Shut down Rafael. (Image: NNP)

Others painted their hands blood red.

The Northern Echo: A protestor paints her hands red.A protestor paints her hands red. (Image: NNP)

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “On Saturday, March 16, a planned protest took place outside a business premises on Scotswood Road, in Newcastle.

“Officers attended and the vast majority of those protesting did so peacefully."

It comes as ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas are expected to restart in the coming days.

Talks stalled before the start of Ramadan earlier this week.

The Northern Echo: Protestors on Saturday (March 16) morning.Protestors on Saturday (March 16) morning. (Image: NNP)

It had been hoped a six-week truce could have be secured for the Muslim holy month but Hamas refused any deal that would not lead to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, a demand Israel rejected.

In recent days, however, both sides have made moves aimed at getting the talks, which never fully broke off, back on track.

The Northern Echo:

Hamas gave mediators a new proposal for a three-stage plan that would end the fighting, according to two Egyptian officials, one who is involved in the talks and a second who was briefed on them, the Associated Press reports.

But Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has rejected calls for a permanent ceasefire, insisting it must first fulfil its stated goal of “annihilating Hamas”.

The Northern Echo:

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On Friday Netanyahu said he had approved plans for a military assault on Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city and Hamas’s last main stronghold.

But Rafah is now home to more than 1 million people including thousands who fled there when Israel began attacking Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people and left another 250 hostage in Gaza.

Mr Netanyahu’s office said the Rafah operation would involve the evacuation of the civilian population, but did not give details or a timetable.