PRC Hosts Panel Discussion Marking 76th Anniversary of Palestinian Nakba

PRC Hosts Panel Discussion Marking 76th Anniversary of Palestinian Nakba

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London held a panel discussion entitled “Ongoing Nakba at 76: Palestinians Demand Right of Return”, focused on the significance of the Nakba of 1948 and its ongoing manifestations, 76 years on.

The first speaker was professor Kamel Hawwash, a British Palestinian engineering academic based at the University of Birmingham. He is a commentator on Middle East affairs, Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), and a founding member of the British Palestinian Policy Council (BPPC).

Jewish Voice for Labour's Leah Levane also delivered an insightful contribution. Leah has been an active campaigner for justice and equality and outspoken advocate of Palestinian rights. She is most known for her extensive research on the weaponization of anti-Semitism.

The speakers harked back to the historical roots of the Palestinian Nabka of 1948, referring to the mass displacement of hundreds of thousands of individuals from their residences during the formation of the State of Israel.

The Nakba, meaning catastrophe in Arabic, commemorates the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians, three-quarters of Palestinian population, from their homeland in 1948, and the subsequent denial of their right to return.

The speakers said that for over 76 years, Israel’s settler-colonial project has fragmented the Palestinian people by geography and legal status, denied Palestinian refugees their right to return to their lands, and has entrenched a regime of control that systematically discriminates against Palestinians in all aspects of life. Israel’s current genocide in Gaza and violations in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are built on the foundations of this project.

This year's remembrance of the 1948 Nakba has been marked by the dire situation of over two million Palestinians in Gaza, many of whom now reside in makeshift shelters or tents following displacement from their residences due to Israel's conflict in the region.

The extensive seven-month Israeli military campaign, resulting in widespread destruction and devastation across the Gaza Strip, has resulted in the loss of over 35,000 Palestinian lives and the displacement of a significant portion of the population, as reported by Gaza authorities. This has sparked concerns of a potential second Nakba, where Gazans might face expulsion from the territory altogether.

The panel discussion stressed the importance of international solidarity movements and protest moves to urge Israel to uphold its obligations under international law, speak out against the ongoing Gaza genocide, and work towards a solution that respects the rights of all Palestinians, namely the refugees’ right to return to their homeland pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.


Watch the full panel discussion here:

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