AROUND 50 Pro-Palestine protestors gathered in Newport this afternoon to rally against Israel's European football union membership.

The protest began outside the Westgate Hotel at 4pm, ahead of the game between Wales women and the Israel women's side at Rodney Parade.

Members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aimed to lead a march to the stadium before the Euro 2017 qualifying group game, but were stopped by police when crossing Newport city footbridge.

There were reports of anti-Israel shouts inside the ground after the anthems though. But security carted out those responsible, according to eyewitnesses.

Members of the PSC said the were holding the protest because Israel "should be boycotted until it abides by international law and gives the Palestinians their human rights”.

Betty Hunter, the honorary president of the PSC, which was first set up in 1982, said: “We need to give the Palestinians their human and political rights, which includes sporting rights because it’s going into the sporting field as well.

“We’re using the opportunity of the fact that Wales women have to play Israel in the qualifying matches for the Euro championships.”

Mrs Hunter, who lives in Abergavenny, said the protest was also to tell UEFA that they need “to abide by their own rules”.

She said: “We think the official institutions such as UEFA and FIFA have to abide by their own rules and actually say until Israel actually allows the Palestinians to play and gives them a state and so on, then the world has to say no, enough is enough.”

Joining the protest was Ella Furness, from a group called Easton Cowgirls, a women’s football team who went over to Palestine to play football with the women there.

Miss Furness said she was excited to be a part of the protest, and hoped it would raise further awareness of the situation in Palestine.

“I think there's lots of reasons why it’s really important in sport," she said. It highlights that sport is there to bring people together and it should be possible for all women to be able to play in sport.

“It’s possible for Welsh women to play football, all you need to do is to be good at it and have a nation to play for. It is also possible to do that as an Israeli woman, but it isn’t as easy for Palestinian women to do that.

“They should be able to play football just as we can in Wales, and this [the protest] brings that to the forefront. It is really important.”

Israeli clubs were accepted into European competitions in 1991, and in 1993, the UEFA executive committee agreed on a provisional admission of the Israel Football Association before its full UEFA membership in 1994.

Gwent Police were contacted for comment.