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Palestine Solidarity Campaign has launched a series of events and actions to mark the 68th anniversary of the Palestinians’ loss of their land when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

The loss, known by Palestinians as the Nakba or ‘catastrophe’, was a violent dispossession and removal of the native Palestinian population from their towns and villages.

Israel’s violence and land theft continues to this day.

Unfortunately Manal Tamimi was not granted a UK visa, for administrative reasons and so is no longer able to come to the UK for her speaking tour. Many of her scheduled dates will go ahead with alternative speakers.

Maxine Peake – commemorative readings

Nakba Week will culminate on 15 May, the day on which Palestinians officially commemorate the Nakba, with an evening of readings curated by Palestinian author and director, Ahmed Masoud.

Actor, Maxine Peake, star of Shameless  (Ch4) and The Village (BBC One), will be reading from Masoud’s theatre play, The Shroud Maker of Gaza.

She will be joined by other literary names at the event in London. Other cultural events such as film screenings and concerts are also taking place.

Other events

Speakers such as Prof Karma Nabulsi of Oxford University, Awad Abdelfattah, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Democratic Assembly, and Haya al Farra from the Palestinian Mission, will be giving talks around country, participating in events organised by regional PSC branches.

A special speaker at many meetings will be Mahmoud Zawahra, a Palestinian activist and the co-ordinator of Al-Ma’sara Village Popular Committee. The Popular Committees in the West Bank organise peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation.

On 14 May, a Day-School Conference will be held in London. Workshops and lectures around the Nakba and what it means will be led by Palestinians including Prof Nur Masalha, an academic and author, and Salmi Karmi-Ayyoub, co-chairs of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights.

PSC interim director Sara Apps said: “The events of 1948 – the Nakba – created the situation that we have today, and yet there is an almost total silence surrounds these events in our media and in Western historical narrative.

“People can’t understand what is happening today unless they know about the Nakba. We hope that PSC’s week of events in May will heighten awareness of how the indigenous Palestinian population was violently forced from its land in 1948 for the sake of Israel.

“From there, it’s easy enough to join the dots to realise that Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank today is a continuation of the events of 1948, as Palestinians continue to lose their land to the Israeli state.”