We were able to meet with Ismail Haniyeh who is recognised as PM in Gaza, heading up the successful Hamas Parliamentary Group. He is a popular figure, living modestly and locally in Gaza. He has been pivotal in taking Hamas down a more moderate road; renouncing violence, keeping the more militant factions within Hamas under control and promoting engagement with rival Fatah. I asked him directly what one message we could take back to the UK from the delegation and he replied without hesitation, “lift the siege, it’s killing children.
A Labour Party spokeswoman said: “Labour supports UK policy not to speak to Hamas. MPs’ visits arranged privately are a matter for them to comment on as individuals.”
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) is due to commemorate the international refugee day by organizing a number of events across Europe. The events will commence in the UK on 18 June and end in Vienna 22 June. World Refugee Day is an annual event launched by the United Nations on the 20th of each year to highlight on the plight of millions of refugees worldwide who are forced to flee their homes.As part of its own initiative, PRC and its partner, Center for Euro Palestinian Relations (CEPR), will coordinate a series of events across Europe, focusing on the legal, political and humanitarian aspects of the plight of Palestinian refugees.On the 18th of June 2012, a meeting will be held at the British parliament. Speakers will include Ian Murray MP, Dr. Salman Abu Sitta a prominent Palestinian historian and Muhammad al Hamid, chair of PRC Board of Trustees.PRC, senior researcher, Nasim Ahmed, and Sameh Habeeb, head of PRC media Department. [sic]
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) hosted an award evening celebrating individuals standing up for freedom and justice in British politics. The award is new project at PRC titled “Justice and Freedom Award” and will be held on annual basis.The event was organized in conjunction with Palestinian and Arab leaders and supported by leading Muslim groups and civic organizations around the country.A number of parliamentarians were also present in recognition for this year’s champion, Baroness Jenny Tonge, who has been one of the great campaigners for the Palestinian cause in UK.Majed Al Zeer, General Director of Palestine, spoke of his great admiration for Baroness Tonge. He praised the Baroness commenting that “In Politics the first loyalty isn’t human rights and justice, but Baroness Tonge defies political norms and loyalties and speaks out against injustices in Africa, Palestine and wherever it may occur”.Others spoke of their admiration and experience of working with Baroness Tonge over the years and decades including, Dr Manual Hassassian, the diplomatic representative of the PA in Britain, former minster Clare Short, Dr Arafat Shoukri, Martin Linton, Sabah Al Mukthar, head of Arab solicitors association and Dr Ghada Karmi.
If we came to Gaza today with a convoy to break its siege, tomorrow we will come with a convoy to liberate Al-Quds [Jerusalem], and to fix Saladin podium and to liberate all the prisoners from the Israeli jails, and liberate all Palestinian land.