PRO-PALESTINIAN protestors brought a meeting to a halt for the second time in three weeks.

Sandwell councillors briefly abandoned yesterday's (Tuesday February 20) key budget meeting after it was interrupted by protestors demanding the authority discusses supporting an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The meeting at the council’s headquarters in Oldbury was suspended for five minutes as council security and a police officer tried to escort the protestors away from the public gallery.

The council appeared to be on high alert after protests inside and outside the council chamber on January 28 led to a delay in proceedings at that evening’s meeting.

Tuesday’s meeting, where the council was set to approve its budget for the coming year, ground to a halt just 15 minutes in.

The council’s deputy leader Cllr Bob Piper was interrupted by a protestor questioning why the council would not discuss supporting a ceasefire in Gaza.

Sandwell mayor Bill Gavan, who was chairing the meeting, told the man to remain quiet and after that failed, said he had received his third warning and was asked to leave. 

Another disruption less than five minutes later led to the council’s monitoring officer Mike Jones suggesting a five-minute break – with the pro-Palestinian protestors shouting “shame on you” towards the councillors and calling the council a “disgrace.”

“How many dead children is enough?” one shouted as the councillors began exiting the chamber.

“Shame! Shame on you all.”

It was during this time that a police officer entered the public gallery in an attempt to move the protestors from the seats overlooking the council chamber.

After the pause, the police officer then informed the protestors that there had been a change of heart and they would be allowed to stay.

The meeting then resumed but it was not long before the protestors again made their calls for the council to discuss a Gaza ceasefire.

After nearly 40 minutes, the protestors then began to file out of the public gallery one by one.

Israel launched its war on Gaza following an attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7 last year, when around 1,200 people were killed alongside more than 240 hostages.

The Israeli military campaign has left more than 29,000 people dead in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

More than a million displaced Palestinians – about half of the Gaza Strip’s population – have been forced to cram into the nearby Palestinian city of Rafah.