Rotterdam – 16 April 2017
The Dutch authorities acclaimed the 15th Palestinians in Europe Conference held in Rotterdam city on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Thousands raised the Palestinian flag as they lined up outside the conference hall, before they headed to the entrance doors in such a civilized and refined manner, a statement published on the official website of the Dutch police read.
The police said they detected no braches of the Dutch law by the pro-Palestine masses who flocked to the conference hall.
Thousands of Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists from across the European continent attended the 15th Palestinians in Europe Conference which kicked off on April 15 in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, under the slogan “100 years on, a victorious nation and unbreakable determination.”
The conference was inaugurated by the Palestinian national anthem. An opening address by the conference’s general coordinator, Amin Abu Rashed, followed.
Other statements were delivered during the conference by such speakers as the head of the European Campaign to Lift the Siege on Gaza, Dr. Mazin Kahil, head of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa AlBarghouti, secretary-general of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, Samir AlFaleh, PalMed Europe chairman, Dr. Mondher Rajab, the head of the Palestinian Women’s Association in Europe, Ms. Iman Abu Shweima, and Dr. Ramy Abdou, chair of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.
The conference addressed a number of issues including the socio-political situation in Palestine, the role played by the Palestinian Diaspora overseas, and Palestinians’ right of return to their motherland.
The event was hosted by the Palestinians in Europe Conference group, the Palestinian Return Centre, the Palestinian Community in the Netherlands, and the Palestinian House in the Netherlands.
A preplanned ad hominem campaign was launched by the Israeli pressure groups in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, to urge the Dutch authorities to call off the gathering by all means possible.
For the first time, the event hosted dual conferences in English and Arabic, in an attempt to reach a wider audience and garner the support of European diplomats and parliamentarians.
A seminar dedicated to the Palestinian child also proceeded in Tandem with the conference.
A round of panel discussions held at the seminar raised such alarming issues as the situation of the Palestinians of Syria, the role played by Palestinian women in Europe, and the situation of Palestinian doctors and instructors. The gatherings culminated in a series of recommendations.
A number of pro-Palestine figures were also honoured at the conference.
The conference coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, in which the British government pledged its support for a Jewish national home in Palestine, at the expense of the Palestinian indigenous population.
PRC speaker Tareq Hamoud briefed the audience on the efforts made by the centre to urge the UK government to backtrack on its intent to celebrate the centenary and make an official apology over the tragic fallouts wrought by the pledge on the Palestinian people.
Executive director of the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria, Mr. Ahmed Hussein, delivered a thorough presentation on the legal steps opted for by the group to speak up for the Palestinians of Syria and document the violations perpetrated against them around the clock.
The conference was wrapped up by a concluding statement that stressed Palestinians’ unyielding commitment to their right of return, which is an indivisible, inalienable, and non-negotiable right.
Books, human rights reports, awareness-raising leaflets, traditional food and sweets, folkloric items, and art exhibitions also figured at the conference.