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  The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) recommends you to get in touch with your local general election candidates to find out their views on Palestine/Israel. Kindly forward us their response at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // to help us lobby for Palestine. Here you can find your local candidates standing in the General Election on June 8th. See below some questions PRC suggests you ask your local candidates:    * The UK government should clearly have accountability, justice and equality as its core principles in regards to policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.    * Do you agree that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must include the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, as stipulated in international law and in UN resolution 194?    * Do you agree that the failure to progress towards and deliver a two-state solution requires Britain to re-shift its foreign policy under the guidance of a rights-based approach?    * Do you agree that Britain should acknowledge the historical responsibility for the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis in 1948 that continues today?    * Do you agree that offering an apology to the Palestinians for issuing the Balfour Declaration (1917) and Britain's failures to protect them during the Mandate years (1922-1948) is the moral and just approach?    * Do you agree that HMG celebrating or marking the centenary of Balfour Declaration in November 2017 will inflame an already tense situation in the region? Make sure to forward us their response at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. //
  The Nakba – literally meaning ‘catastrophe’ in English – refers to the disaster that befell the Palestinian people in 1948 when around 750,000 Palestinians were expelled out of their land, forcing them to leave behind hundreds of destroyed towns and villages.   However, this violent displacement of the Palestinian people was not the end of their suffering – it was the beginning.   69 years later, the 750,000 refugees that were forcibly exiled from their own homes now total over 5 million. Most of them remain stateless, languishing in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.   A significant number of these refugees also relocated to the Gaza Strip, which is currently under siege. Israel controls its land borders, its airspace and its sea, leaving Palestinians within the Strip effectively trapped in the world’s largest open-air prison. The United Nations has predicted that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020 due to Israel’s deliberately asphyxiating blockade.   Some of the Palestinians who were able to remain now live as second-class citizens within the State of Israel. Their rights and freedoms are severely restricted and they face systematic, institutionalized racism, something which can be demonstrated by the over 50 existing Israeli laws which discriminate against them.   Finally, Palestinians in the West Bank, many of whom are also refugees from 1948, live under an illegal military occupation which gravely violates their basic human rights and exposes them to life-threatening violence and unjust detention on a daily basis.   The Palestinian Nakba is not an incident which occurred many decades ago. It is an ongoing, systematic process in which Israel continues to deny Palestinians the most basic of human rights.   Not only does Israel refuse to recognize the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their lands, a right which is enshrined in International Law, but it also continues to illegally seize Palestinian land to build Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It continues to discriminate against Palestinians in a system of Apartheid. It continues to strip Palestinians of their rights to freedom of movement, freedom of speech, education and housing.   Today marks 69 years since this Nakba began, but it also marks the 28th day of the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike. The steadfastness and fortitude demonstrated by the protesters – who are demanding basic rights such as medical treatment, family visitation and an end to detention without trial - is microcosmic of that of the Palestinian people.   69 years later, Palestinians continue to resist and they will do so until there is justice.   Photo: UNWRA   i. Pappe, I. The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Journal of Palestine Studies. 36:1. Autumn 2006 (pp.6-20) ii. United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA in Figures. 2015. Available from:https://www.unrwa.org/sites/default/files/unrwa_in_figures_2015.pdf iii. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people: Developments in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. United Nations 62/3, 2015, Geneva. Available from:http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/tdb62d3_en.pdf iv. Nikles, R. The Adalah database of 50 discriminatory laws in Israel. Mondoweiss [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 May 15]. Available from: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/database-discriminatory-israel v. UN General Assembly. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations, 217 (III) A, 1948, Paris, Art. 13. vi. Hassan, B. Mass hunger strikes tests Palestinian unity. Electronic Intifada [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 May 15]. Available from: https://electronicintifada.net/content/mass-hunger-strike-tests-palestinian-unity/20296
  LONDON – 2 May 2017 The London-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) appealed to the British Parliament, in a memorandum sent on Tuesday, to take urgent action vis-à-vis the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails, a few days after their health condition has reportedly taken a turn for the worse.   1,500 Palestinian detainees have been starving for 17 days running in Israeli jails to protest mistreatment and push for basic rights, the letter read.   The memorandum sounded the alarm over the dire conditions of captivity endured by some 6,300 Palestinians in Israeli penitentiaries, among whom 500 administrative detainees (held with neither charge nor trial), 300 children (below the age of 17), 61 women, and 458 life-sentenced inmates.   PRC condemns the psycho-physical torture, medical neglect, solitary confinement, prison bans, and the denial of the right to a fair and public trial, among other human rights violations, pursued by the Israeli prison authorities.   PRC calls on all British MPs to immediately step in and take serious steps to restore Palestinians’ infringed rights and urge Israel to halt its flagrant violations of prisoners’ rights and observe the maxims of the international humanitarian law.  
    London, 27th April 2017 On Tuesday the 25th of April, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) hosted an event in the Houses of Parliament titled “The Question of Jerusalem: Occupation, Discrimination, and Displacement.” This event was chaired by Mark Hendrick, the Labour MP for Preston, and included the following notable academic speakers: Professor Wendy Pullan of Cambridge University, Professor Penny Green of Queen Mary University, and Professor Kamel Hawwash of the University of Birmingham.   
    London, April 23d 2017 The UK government claimed, in an official response to a petition pushing for an official apology over the Balfour Declaration, partial responsibility for the calamitous repercussions of the pledge on thousands of Palestinians.     “We recognise that the Declaration should have called for the protection of political rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, particularly their right to self-determination,” the statement read.     PRC believes that the statement heralds a turn for the better in the government’s position as regards the Balfour Apology Campaign and signals an act of auto-criticism vis-à-vis the legitimacy of the Palestinian anti-occupation struggle.   The government response, dubbing the Balfour Declaration “an historic statement for which HMG does not intend to apologise” and of which the government is “proud of [its] role in creating the State of Israel” sparked anger among the pro-Palestine masses. 
  London – 22 April 2017 The Palestinian Return Centre has re-launched in October 2016, its campaign which started in 2013, titled as  “Balfour Apology Campaign”, demanding the United Kingdom Government to officially apologies for its past colonial crimes in Palestine.   On February 2017 the Palestinian Return Centre launched a petition on the British Parliament official website demanding Her Majesty’s Government to openly apologize to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration. The colonial policy of Britain between 1917-1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation and HMG should recognize its role during the Mandate and now must lead attempts to reach a solution that ensures justice for the Palestinian people. This petition has been signed by 13,269 signatures, in which guaranteed an official response from the British government.   https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/184398   Today, on 22 April 2017 the British government has responded officially, and its response has caused an outrage, deep disappointment and distress to Palestinian people.     The Balfour Apology Campaign (BAC) strongly denounces The United Kingdom Government position, in which clearly denying the Palestinian people their legitimate and along-awaited apology.       The official British government response to our petition is humiliating, arrogant and emphasizing the British government unconditional endorsement to the brutality of the Israeli governments against the Palestinian people. The fact that the British Government has stated in this response its pride in creating the state of Israel without acknowledging the suffering and injustice inflected on the Palestinian people as a consequence of the Balfour Declaration, is an alarming and an unacceptable position, in which deepening the British government role in denying the Palestinian people their fundamental rights.   It is alarming that the Government’s statement justifies the creation of Israel for religious reasons by stating, “In that context, establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution.”   Such statement will only fuel the conflict as it gives religious motivation for the creation of Israel. The statement shows ignorance of the facts and history and also ignore the Palestinian existence there for thousands of years.   In addition, the official response by the British government has also included a dangerous position in relation to the issue of illegal Israeli settlements, when including “land swap” as one of the elements that should be included in any suggested future two state negotiations, in which is illegal by international law.   And when it comes to the right of return to the millions of Palestinians that were drove forcibly out of their homes and lands by Israel as a result for Israeli atrocities in which Balfour Declaration was their umbrella to justify their horrific acts against the Palestinians, now the British government suggesting as part of the negotiation there would be an alternative solution for the Palestinians other than their right to return to their homes, in which is unacceptable, unjust and simply adopting the Israeli government position on the cost of the legitimate rights of many Palestinians.     The flaws-filled statement also misleads the public opinion that Britain is working towards the self-determination of the Palestinian people. For decades, the successive UK government failed in obliging Israel to achieve its peace process commitment and strengthened Israeli occupation, particularly the military industry.   We do not accept the official response that we have received from the British Government today, therefore, we will continue all our efforts, using all available channels, whether political, legal, public campaigns and media in order to gain the acknowledgement, the apology and the impartial political policies from the British government to the Palestinian nation collectively.     The British government denial of the Palestinian suffering as a consequence to its historic role in creating the ongoing injustice inflected on them, in addition to the current official position that the British government has communicated with us, we are left more determined to continue our legitimate campaign until we achieve all our outlined targets in this campaign.  
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