webThe third Palestine Memorial Week organized by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) was launched at the Houses of Parliament yesterday. The week of activities, from 16th till 23rd Jan. 2012, aims to commemorate the memory of Palestinian victims over the past Six decades especially the last war in Gaza.

Jeremy Corbyn MP, who was the chair, was joined by several others from the British political establishment and members of the civil society. Amongst the speakers were, Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP, Dr. Mads Gilbert, Baroness Jenny Tonge, Sameh Habeeb, PRC Head of Media Dept and Manal Timraz, a Palestinian woman who mourned the loss of 15 members of her family, 11 of which were children during the Israeli bombardment in 2008/2009.

Jeremy Corbyn MP opened the conference in which he criticized the constant Israeli crimes against Palestinian people.  He stressed the need to expose Israeli crimes worldwide especially the UK. He also criticized British official bodies who have failed to put a leash on Israeli violations of International law..

Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP also spoke against Israeli Human Rights Violations against Palestinians and the need to bring Israelis to accountability. Kaufman also touched upon the conditions in Jerusalem, which does not get the same media exposure but is still terribly bad for Palestinians living there. He reminded the audience of the casual regard Israel shows for Palestinian lives by narrating the story of  Mustafa al Tamimi, a Palestinian who was killed by Israel few weeks ago.

The key guest for the week is doctor Mads Gilbert who also spoke about his recent visit to Gaza. He stressed that that Gaza Strip is still under harsh Israeli siege where even garbage trucks are not allowed into the city risking a major health disaster.  He also spoke about the victims of the War and the shortage of medical tools and medications.

Dr. Gilbert, from Norway, was working in Gaza Shifa Hospital and witnessed the Israeli attacks against Gaza civilians in 2008/2009. He will be touring the UK where he will speak at a number of British universities

Baroness Jenny Tonge stressed the need to remember Gaza and the unrelenting abuse of Palestinian human rights. Baroness Tonge emphasised the need to continue such work to expose Israeli practices and also to show the suffering of the Palestinian people. Add to this, she called on pro-freedom activists not to fear the false Israeli accusations of anti-Semitism.

For his part, Sameh Habeeb, PRC Head of Media Dept, explained the role of PRC in serving Palestinian Refugees. Habeeb added that the Right of Return is not a political card but a basic human right that needs to be defended and implemented. He also touched on the work of PRC regarding the plight of Palestinian refugees languishing in refugee camps and PRC’s attempt to bring international attention and support.

Manal Timraz, an activist and speaker on the Palestinian cause spoke about her terrible loss during Operation Cast Lead. Her personal battle to overcome the loss of 15 members of her family, 11 of who were children, was a poignant reminder of the indiscriminate nature of Israeli bombing of Gaza.