Palestinians call on UK to apologise for Balfour Declaration

Palestinian foreign ministry urges Britain to apologise for Balfour Declaration
2 min read
03 November, 2021
An advisor for the Palestinian Authority's foreign affairs ministry has called on Britain to apologise for the Balfour Declaration, which is seen as a precursor to Israel's creation and the Palestinians’ ethnic cleansing from their homeland in 1948.
The Balfour Declaration stated that the UK would look "favourably" on the creation of a "Jewish national home" [Getty]

The Palestinian foreign ministry is urging Britain to apologise for the Balfour Declaration, saying a due process is taking place to ensure the apology takes place.

The November 1917 Balfour Declaration stated that the UK would look "favourably" on the creation of a "Jewish national home" in Palestine. The UK occupied historic Palestine after the First World war, which saw a rapid increase in Jewish settlement expansions in the area, eventually leading to the creation of Israel in 1948.

An apology is a key step in Britain's recognition of the declaration's responsibility for the decades-long impact it had on Palestinians, said Ahmed Al-Deek, the political advisor to the Palestinian foreign affairs minister.

The Balfour Declaration resulted in the mass displacement of Palestinians, which its effect remains to this day, the Palestinian Authority’s news agency WAFA reported Al-Deek as saying.

He called on the United Kingdom to recognise the State of Palestine as another part of "its compensation for this sin and aggression it committed against our people and the suffering and historical injustice that is still ongoing."

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He added that recognising the state of Palestine would allow Palestinians to “obtain their just and legitimate national rights”, including the right to return, self-determination, and an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Millions of Palestinians fled abroad during the 1948 creation of Israel and its subsequent occupation of the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree on Sunday to fly the national flag at half-mast in all government ministries and Palestinian embassies and representative offices abroad on 2 November to commemorate the declaration.

Last year, Palestinian lawyers filed a complaint to sue the British government, claiming that "the suffering of the Palestinians" stemmed from this declaration.