The Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) has reported that its office in Gaza was visited last week by representatives of a German Foundation associated with the country’s Green Party. According to a CEPR press release:
The CEPR Palestinian representation welcomed Dr. René Wildangel, Director of the Arab Middle East Ramallah Branch Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation from Germany. Dr. Ramy Abdu, the regional director of CEPR Gaza office, and his team gave a brief presentation on CEPR activities, its goals and mission and explained the importance of having a presence in Palestine. Dr. René Wildangel introduced the Heinrich Böll Foundation as part of the Global Green Political Movement which seeks to encourage and facilitate cross-border initiatives and regional cooperation. He also explained that the foundation’s activities in the Palestinian territories include strengthening civil society and democratic participation, advocating for women’s rights and gender democracy, promoting environmental justice and sustainable development, in addition to organizing visitor programs to enhance dialogue and networking among civil society organizations. During the visit, Dr. Wildangel and Dr. Abdu agreed that CEPR and Heinrich Böll Foundation have common interests and goals, and discussed ways of future cooperation like the possibility of organizing delegations of German and European parliamentarians to the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. The Brussels-based Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) has announced that over 100 European parliamentarians have signed its petitions on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. A post from earlier this month reported that a European Muslim Brotherhood initiative described as a “broad campaign in solidarity with the prisoners in occupation jails” was launched at the recent Palestinians in Europe conference held in Denmark.
The CEPR Web site describes the organization as follows:
The Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) is an independent not-for-profit organisation which has been established to promote dialogue and understanding between European, Palestinian and Arab parliamentarians and policy-makers. It seeks a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on justice and the restoration of Palestinian rights in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
Despite its claim of independence, the CEPR is headed by Dr. Arafat Shoukri (aka Arafat Madi, Arafat Madi Shoukri) who is also the executive director of the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) in the U.K. The PRC has strong ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood and two PRC directors are also directors of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), generally regarded as part of the UK. Muslim Brotherhood. The PRC is also listed as an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) dominated by UK. Muslim Brotherhood groups. PRC activities are frequently promoted by the MAB, MCB, and other U.K Brotherhood organizations. PRC director Ghassan Four is also a Trustee of INTERPAL, a key member of the Union of Good and part of the Muslim Brotherhood Hamas fund-raising network . PRC director Zaher Birawi is a Trustee of Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), also a part of the Union of Good. Mr. Birawi is also head of programming for Al-Hiwar TV which frequently features MB/Hamas individuals and organizations and was founded by Azzam Al-Tamimi, a U.K Muslim Brotherhood leader and close to Hamas. An Israeli web site, known to be close to Israeli military intelligence, has reported that Mr. Birawi, along with another PRC Trustee are “past Hamas operatives who found refuge in Britain in the early nineties.” Dr. Shoukri is also the chairman of the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG) which was the main organizer of the unsuccessful Second Gaza Flotilla and which operates from the same address and has the same telephone as the PRC.
In March, a post reported that the CEPR issued a statement condemning Israel’s latest military actions in Gaza.