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Palestinians hire UK-based law firm to prosecute UK gov’t over Balfour Declaration

February 25, 2021 at 10:15 am

Londoners mark 100 years since Balfour Declaration in a protest to recognise the on-going oppression of Palestinians and calling for an apology from the British government, in London on 4 November, 2017 [Jehan Alfarra/Middle East Monitor]

The head of the Palestinian National Independent Assembly, Munib Al-Masri, said a London- based law firm has been hired to prosecute the British government over the Balfour Declaration, which established the UK’s support for a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine and the violations committed by Britain during its mandate over Palestine.

Al-Masri said in a statement that the decision issued by the Nablus Court of First Instance which invalidated the declaration is the first step to suing the British government in the UK.

The case was originally filed by Palestinian lawyers on behalf of the National Independent Assembly, the International Foundation for the Follow-up of the Rights of the Palestinian People and the Palestinian Journalists’ Union, against the British Government.

Last week, the court delivered its ruling on the case which held Britain legally responsible for violating peremptory norms of international law and its violation of international norms and demanded it apologise to the Palestinian people.

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Al-Masri said there are plans to prosecute the British government to force it to apologise to the Palestinian people for the calamities that have befallen them as a result of the declaration.

He pointed out that the British government had previously apologised to India, Cambodia, and Mau Mau people in Kenya and the State of Cyprus for the massacres it had committed against them, adding that the Palestinian people are not inferior to the rest of the world, and have the right to prosecute Britain or whoever causes harm to them and deprives them of their right to self-determination.

The Balfour Declaration was a brief letter dated 2 November 1917 by Lord Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary at the time, addressing Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, a British Zionist peer, expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.