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Hundreds of PSC members came together for the campaign’s 2024 Annual General Meeting on Saturday 24th February. Individual members and those representing their branches and affiliated organisations heard from a broad array of speakers, received reports on PSC’s activities and debated and voted on our plans for the coming year.

Kamel Hawwash, on his final day as Chair of PSC, opened the AGM with a moving speech laying out the severity of the situation facing the Palestinian people at the present time, slamming the complicity of the British government and welcoming the huge mobilisations which have protested against Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. Kamel described how many Palestinians see PSC’s protests in the media and are heartened by the scale of solidarity being offered, but that more was required of us to force a change in the UK’s approach to Palestine. He welcomed the election of Louise Regan as his replacement and thanked members for all their support during his tenure as Chair.

Ben Soffa, PSC’s Secretary, presented the Annual Report, looking back at the campaign’s activities over the past year. He highlighted some key activities from the PSC’s annual report, including the historic scale of recent mobilisations, the earlier Nakba commemorations, PSC’s work giving platform to diverse voices from Palestine, the campaign against the anti-boycott bill and other attacks on the movement, the ‘stop arming Israel’ campaign, other BDS activities and PSC’s work with trade unions, students and others. He reported that PSC membership had grown and that the number of PSC branches and members was now at an all-time high.

John Ellis, PSC’s Treasurer presented the Finance Report. This noted how in the year to 31 August 2023, PSC income rose by 13% and expenditure by 25% with a deficit of £157,000 being recorded. This was budgeted for so as to make use of accumulated surpluses from previous years, primarily spent increasing our campaigning capacity via increased staffing. Income was £746,000, up from £660,000 whilst expenditure was £903,000 up from £723,000. Net assets were £253,000 down from £411,000. The report was approved.

Ben Jamal, PSC’s Director introduced the Annual Plan for the coming year. National demonstrations and local days of action on Gaza will continue, but much other vital work is also planned. This will including campaigning ahead of the General Election, growing our campaign of boycott, divestment and sanction, further steps as part of our ‘Stop Arming Israel’ campaign, work on child prisoners, Nakba commemoration, defence of the right to boycott and much besides.


Throughout the day, the AGM heard from a number of guest speakers:

Dr Ghassan Abu Sitta, the British-Palestinian surgeon recently returned from Gaza spoke about the worsening situation in Palestine and the need to challenge governmental and institutional complicity in the UK. 

Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, spoke via live video link on the current situation and the need for international solidarity.

Dr Shahd Hammouri, Lecturer in Law at the University of Kent, spoke about how two cases at the International Court of Justice could shape the upcoming period – both in relation to the legality of the occupation and on the question of genocide. Both cases may have significant ramifications on how other states relate to Israel if they can be required to comply with their pre-existing obligations under international law.

John McDonnell MP spoke about recent developments in Parliament, about the attempts to delegitimise campaigning for Palestine and on the disgraceful treatment of MPs who were speaking out for Palestinian human rights.

HE Ambassador Dr Husam Zomlot, Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, made a powerful speech describing the horrors of the situation in Gaza, but also reflecting on how this had also brought out the best in millions of people across the world. He praised PSC as being at the vanguard of the global movement for justice for Palestinians.

Two panel discussions were held:

‘Strengthening Solidarity: None of us are free until all of us are free’ saw PSC Vice Chair Neha Shah introduce speakers from Black Lives Matter UK, Workers for a Free Palestine, Queers for Palestine and a member of the climate justice movement to discuss the broad coalition that are now mobilised around the urgent need for a ceasefire and for freedom for the Palestinian people.

‘Building Solidarity in the Trade Union Movement’ saw an all-woman panel of trade unionists discuss how we can deepen the involvement of trade unionists in all levels of the movement. Unite’s Clare Baker led the discussion featuring PCS General Secretary Fran Heathcote, Chair of Unison’s international committee Liz Wheatley and Louise Regan in her capacity at the chair of NEU’s international committee.


A number of motions were considered:

An Emergency Motion on Gaza was proposed by the Executive Committee. This demanded that the UK government support and immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces and an end to the killings and arrests in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank, but also to support the case at the International Court of Justice, reinstate and increase UNRWA funding, end all arms trade with Israel and terminate the UK-Israel roadmap plan. An amendment passed calling for a major escalation of nationwide action to force the government into backing these demands, including various forms of mass action. An amendment regarding UN resolutions applicable to the Occupied Territories was rejected.

A further emergency motion on escalating BDS campaigns was passed after the inclusion of an amendment proposed by the Executive Committee. This committed PSC to exploring further targeted boycott campaigns, expanded online information and providing ongoing support for local activism in this area.

A motion on the consumer boycott of Israeli goods was passed after the inclusion of an amendment proposed by the Executive Committee. This commits PSC to produce a leaflet identifying common consumer products and companies that should be targeted with consumer boycott action.

A further motion committed PSC to campaigning for the UK to support South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, for greater legal accountability for violations of international humanitarian law and for an end to impunity. This passed after being amended with text proposed by the Executive Committee. 

A motion on Public Liability Insurance for branches will be considered by the Executive Committee as the Proposer was not present.


There being an equal number of nominations to the number of positions available in each category, the following were elected unopposed:

Chair: Louise Regan
Vice Chairs: Neha Shah and Iyas Al Qasem
Secretary: Ben Soffa
Treasurer: John Ellis
Trade Union Liaison Officer: Simon Dubbins
Ordinary Members: Donna Best, Sybil Cock, Sheila Guhadasan, Diane Langford, Bernard Regan, Julia Simpkins, Alex Snowden

At the conclusion of the day, outgoing Chair Kamel Hawwash was praised by Ambassador Zomlot and presented with a number of gifts. Kamel movingly explained the significance of the photograph of his return to his native Jerusalem after several years of being denied access due to his advocacy for Palestinian rights.