More than 400 people gathered in Wollongong’s Civic Plaza on Thursday night to light a candle for peace in Gaza.
A silent procession of people, some from the Palestinian and Israeli communities, as well as senior citizens and parents with children in strollers, moved down Crown Street to the plaza before the vigil.
A range of speakers, including Wollongong Catholic Bishop Peter Ingham, called for peace in the troubled part of the world.
‘‘All is lost with war, nothing is lost with peace,’’ Bishop Ingham said.
‘‘Peace wills the common good of all and peace ensures respect for the dignity of every person. War is not the answer because violence breeds more violence as is abundantly and tragically clear in Gaza and Israel.’’
The vigil was organised by the South Coast Labour Council, and secretary Arthur Rorris said the aim was to send a message to the people of Gaza that they were not alone.
‘‘The Illawarra, like every other community around the world, has been watching in disbelief at the destruction and scenes of death at the bombings of hospitals and refuges,’’ Mr Rorris said.
‘‘Our message is one of hope with this candlelight vigil. Bombs can destroy buildings but they cannot destroy hope.’’