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Ex-ICC prosecutor calls on UK to compensate Palestinians for Balfour Declaration

May 27, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Palestinians stage a demonstration in front of the British Consulate as part of the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, in East Jerusalem on 2 November 2021 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Judge Luis Moreno Ocampo has called on Britain to apologise for the Balfour Declaration and compensate the Palestinian people for the suffering they have endured as a result.

A press conference organised by the Palestine Journalists Syndicate in Ramallah yesterday, Ocampo said according to the Oslo Agreement, the responsibility for prosecuting criminals lies with the Palestinian judiciary, which is investigating the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, and if they conclude that the killer is an Israeli they cannot try him, so the ICC can do that.

In turn, British barrister, specialising in public international law, Ben Emmerson said he is examining the possibility of suing Britain over the Balfour Declaration and holding the successive British governments responsible for the tragedy and human catastrophe of the Palestinian people, who are still living the effects of the UK’s decision today.

Emmerson explained that he is focusing on three areas; the Balfour Declaration, which violated the Covenant of the League of Nations, “when the British mandate government made its promise that contributed to a demographic change in Palestine.”

“Although the matter seems very old to many, it can be done,” he added.

Palestine probe: Israel sniper ‘deliberately’ targeted Shireen Abu Akleh

Emmerson he is also investigating crimes committed by the British Mandate against a large number of the Palestinian population which will shock the British people and the world.

“We will also examine the Israeli occupation forces’ practices, which derive from the emergency law imposed by the British Mandate authorities, which was not repealed after the British exit from Palestine and is used by the Israeli occupation to collectively punish the Palestinians,” he added.

“Filing the case means that Britain would recognise its debt towards the Palestinian people,” he added.

For his part, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestine Journalists’ Syndicate, Montaser Hamdan, praised the legal efforts to bring justice to the Palestinian people who have suffered a series of attacks and violations.

“We see this as a valuable opportunity for dialogue at the local and international levels to build a solid international legal file that can be moved at the international level,” he added.

Hamdan said the ICC Prosecutor, Karim Khan, will today receive the results of the Palestinian investigation into Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s execution, pointing out that her assassination constitutes a turning point in the crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.