We deeply regret that the head of the European Parliament finds that Arafat Madi Shoukri is a reliable interlocutor, considering that he is involved in organizations with links with Hamas and Hezbollah. We further regret that none of the 736 European law-makers voiced disapproval about such a meeting. Sadly, this is just becoming the norm. It turns out that Belgian Euro-parliamentarian Véronique De Keyser has met with him recently. One can imagine the uproar that such an invitation would cause were he to be invited by the President of the U.S. Senate... Not in Europe.
Source: Harry's Place (London Hamasniks and Interpal, by Habibi, 06/03/2009)
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) is a London-based group dedicated to the return of Palestinian refugees to their families’ old homes in Israel.
Everyone who has followed the negotiations over the years knows that this is a deep red line for Israel. Just as it would be for any Muslim countries asked to compensate Jewish families expelled in the past for their losses, or to grant Jews return to their old homes, should any be so bold as to do so.
Nor will Israel be defeated on any battlefield at home any time in the foreseeable future.
The Congress reaffirms the need to popularize the culture of resistance and its practice as the option of resistance is the best and shortest way to realize the return of the refugees to their homes. It calls for the safeguarding of this option and its fortification on the national, patriotic, Islamic and international fronts.
They reaffirm their support for the national, patriotic and liberation stand of Syria and the steadfastness of its people under the leadership of Dr Bashar Al Asad in the face of all forms harassment, threats and aggression the last of which was the abhorrent American attack on Syrian territory.
They regard support for the Iraqi resistance and safeguarding of the unity and Arab identity of Iraq an important step toward the restoration of the Palestinian people of their land and rights.
The participants in the Arab International Congress for the right of return convinced of the longstanding and current danger of the Zionist role in the plots to dismember Sudan and undermine its national unity, Arab, African and Islamic identity and halt its role as a bridge between the Arab ummah and its strategic and civilizational depth in Africa declare their firm support for the people of Sudan in their struggle against all forms of colonial intervention, dubious internationalization and provocative initiatives.
“the resistance of the Palestinian people has surpassed the bounds of time and it is this resistance which will bring about an honorable future that the mothers of the martyrs, wives of prisoners and heroic children under bombardment all deserve”
More on Arafat Shoukri:
Video in English (the man himself)
Palestinian The Meir Amit Return Centre Intelligence and Terrorism report: The Palestinian Return Centre: London-based center for anti-Israeli propaganda, affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed in Israel. It promotes the demand of the Palestinian refugees to return as a way of destroying Israel. Senior PRC figures send flotillas and convoys to the Gaza Strip and transfer funds to Hamas. (PDF). Excerpt:
"Three members of the PRC’s board of trustees are Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain in the 1990s. They do not admit to their links with Hamas, in our assessment to avoid complications with British law. Prominent among them are three Hamas activists: Zaher al-Birawi, chairman of the PRC’s board of trustees; Majed al-Zeer, PRC general director; and Sheikh Majdi Akeel, a member of the PRC’s board of trustees.
The above three Hamas activists are involved in extensive anti-Israeli activities aimed at providing Hamas with ideological, political and practical support. For example, Zaher al-Birawi was active in dispatching convoys to the Gaza Strip through George Galloway’s organization, Viva Palestina, with the political goal of strengthening the de facto Hamas administration. Majed al-Zeer participated in anti-Israeli events in European cities and in Damascus in support of Hamas, its political agenda and its strategy of terrorism. Sheikh Majdi Akeel is an activist of Interpal, which sends money to Hamas, and accompanied one of the Viva Palestina aid convoys to Hamas in the Gaza Strip (See Appendix II for information about PRC activists). In addition to those three, according to our information Arafat Madi Shukri, PRC operational director, is also a Hamas activist who lives in Britain and is the chairman of the ECESG (a European umbrella organization which sends flotillas to the Gaza Strip)."
"On December 5, 2010 the Israel defense minister signed an order designating the Palestinian Return Centre as an organization unlawful in Israel.
The Centre, which was established in London in 1996, officially announced that its activity was meant exclusively to further the cause of the Palestinian refugees. However, in reality it serves as the organizational and coordinating arm of the Hamas movement in Europe. Its activists, who are senior Hamas movement figures, work to promote the movement’s objectives in Europe and maintain direct contact with senior Hamas figures, including the movement heads in Damascus.
The Centre is headed by various Hamas activists, among them, Majed al-Zeer, Zaher Birawi and Majdi Akeel. Another is Ghassan Faour, who is also on the board of trustees of Interpal. Interpal was designated as a terrorist organization by both Israel and the United States because it is one of the main components in global network funding Hamas.
In recent years the Centre has had a leading role in the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), and led by Arafat Mahdi, one of its top activists, was involved in planning the violent May 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla. Those actions were undertaken in collaboration with the Turkish IHH and other Hamas funds in Europe and elsewhere.
In addition, the Centre had been involved in initiating and organizing violent, radical activities against the State of Israel in Europe, activities meant to subvert Israel’s standing in European public opinion. To that end the Centre has organized conferences in many European countries attended not only by its own activists but by Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood activists from around the world, including representatives of funds and foundations which support Hamas in Europe, and representatives from Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
In recent years, recorded speeches have been broadcast at conferences, delivered by senior Hamas figures, including Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, who were banned from entering Europe because the movement was outlawed by the European Union.
The Palestinian Return Centre’s activities are part of Hamas’ activities in the Palestinian communities in Europe in general and Britain in particular. They belong to the overall undertaking conducted by Hamas around the world to support its activities in the internal Palestinian arena.
Thus, as noted, on December 5, 2010, the defense minister outlawed the Palestinian Return Centre since it is part of Hamas.
(Website of the Israel Security Agency, www.shabak.gov.il)
UK to J'lem: Request probe of group 'with Hamas ties' (Jerusalem Post, Jonny Paul, 13/01/2011)