On March 21st 2018, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) organised an event in Parliament co-hosted by Alistair Carmichael MP and Tracy Brabin MP focusing on forced displacement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The first speaker was Tracy Brabin, Labour Member for Batley and Spen, and Shadow Minister to Early Years. Brabin MP gave a comprehensive presentation on the challenges facing Palestinians in the OPT based on her trip on a CAABU and MAP delegation to the region. She talked about the forced evictions imposed by the Israeli government in Jerusalem, the situation in Hebron and the inhumane conditions in which Gazans suffer.
Next, Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrats Member for Orkney and Shetland and former Secretary of State for Scotland pointed out the two-state solution remains elusive due to the present geographical reality in which Palestinian lands have no contiguous boundaries.
Carmichael MP also travelled on CAABU and MAP delegation to the West Bank, talked about Israeli authorities supporting settlers’ takeover of Palestinian properties and described his experience meeting with Palestinian families of which homes were demolished multiple times.
The third speaker was David Turner, Emeritus Professor of Computation at the University of Kent and an executive member of ICHAD UK. Professor Turner introduced to the audience the work of ICAHD and the organisation’s use of non-violent resistance against the Israeli government. ICAHD was early supporter of the International Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Turner talked about Israel’s denial of permits to Palestinians to construct homes and forcing Palestinians to demolish their own homes to avoid paying for the demolition charges. Turner concluded his speech highlighting the need to implement the Palestinian right of return and ICAHD’s support for a democratic one-state solution in Palestine-Israel.
The last speaker was Majed AlZeer, Chairman of the Palestinian Return Centre, and the President of the Palestinians-in-Europe Conference. AlZeer provided the audience with a Palestinian perspective and recalled that in 2018 Palestinians mark 70 years since the Nakba or catastrophe of 1948 when the majority of the Palestinian people were ethnically cleansed from Palestine and Israel was created as a settler state.
AlZeer showed a picture of his home close to Jerusalem that has been expropriated by Israel using the ‘Absentee Law’ regulation. AlZeer concluded by talking about Palestinian youth in Europe who are not giving on their rights and their claim to return to their Palestinian homeland.