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PA: We will take UK to international courts over Balfour

October 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Senior adviser to the Palestinian President Nabil Shaath said today that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be approaching British and international courts to try the UK government for its role in the creation of the Balfour Declaration that led to the displacement of the Palestinian people, according to Radar.

Shaath criticised British Prime Minister Theresa May for her promise to celebrate the declaration’s 100th anniversary next month, adding that her remarks on Balfour had strained relations between the UK and Palestine.

He called for Britain to apologise for the declaration and officially recognise the state of Palestine based on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Numerous senior Palestinian figures have spoken of taking legal action against the UK for the impact of the Balfour Declaration on the Palestinian people. However, such a move has been continually denounced by British officials who maintain that they have no intention of apologising for the historical role.

UK diplomat: No Palestinian state means Balfour Declaration ‘unfinished business’

Last month, the government’s Arabic spokesman said that Britain acknowledged that the Balfour Declaration was a “Nakba”, or catastrophe, for the Palestinians, but argued that apologising and recognising the State of Palestine is detrimental to the settlement of the conflict.

A majority of 54 per cent of the British public believe the UK should recognise Palestine as a state, according to the results of a YouGov poll published in September. Despite this, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and British Cabinet member Sajid Javid have both reinforced that the UK government will mark the anniversary with pride and remains committed to the security of Israel.

The UK has maintained close diplomatic, trade and security ties with Israel since its inception, and is counted upon by Israel to vote in its favour at the UN and other international institutions. The relationship has been observed by some to have strengthened under the leadership of Theresa May, as the UK looks to bolster relations with countries outside the EU following Brexit.

Fatah: UK must recognise Palestine to rectify Balfour’s mistake