CITY councillors have backed a motion which could lead to Worcester being twinned with Gaza City in the Middle East.
A notice of motion put forward by Alan Amos, Warndon city councillor, was passed after a carefully worded amendment tabled by David Tibbutt, councillor for Battenhall, was accepted.
The amended motion read: "The city of Worcester invite the Twinning Association to consider twinning Worcester with Gaza City."
After a passionate debate in the Guildhall council chamber the motion was passed with six abstentions.
Any further discussion of the issue now rests with members of the twinning committee who have already fostered successful links with Kleve, in Germany, Le Vesinet, France and more recently Worcester, Massachusetts, in the United States.
Gaza was the target of an Israeli bombing campaign earlier this year, sparked after rockets were launched from the territory into neighbouring Israel.
That action followed an earlier Israeli blockade of the coastal city which lasted for more than a year.
The city is currently controlled by Hamas, which were elected by Gazans at the polls.
However the group is listed as a terrorist organisation by both the European Union and the United States of America.
- For more see tomorrow's Worcester News.
- Find out more about troubled Gaza City and the Gaza Strip here.
UPDATE: Worcester News Editor Kevin Ward has been interviewed about this running story for BBC Midlands Today. The programme can be seen on BBC1 on Thursday at 6.30pm.