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Palestinian Forum in Britain calls on government to apologise for Balfour Declaration

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]
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]

On the 105th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) has called on the British government to apologise "and take the necessary steps to correct this grave injustice."

The 1917 letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to leading Zionist Lord Rothschild — who helped to write it — promised British support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…" This helped to pave the way for the creation of the state of Israel in occupied Palestine in 1948 and the accompanying ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians known as the Nakba (Catastrophe).

"On the 105th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, we demand that Britain recognise its crime against the Palestinian people, and we will continue to work diligently in order to force Britain to apologise for this original sin and provide compensation to the Palestinian people," said the Chairman of the PFB, Zaher Birawi, in a press release. "We are confident that this will happen forthwith, and that all of those who have committed crimes against our people will be held accountable."

The statement added that under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the PFB demands that "this issue is addressed, discussed in the Parliament, and that concrete action is finally taken in order to rectify the tragedy of Balfour."

The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, meanwhile, described the ongoing aggression by Israel against the Palestinians as being "a direct result" of the Balfour Declaration. "Attacks on Palestinians and their rights have been continuous from 1917 until today. Britain continues to support and encourage the colonial occupation state of Israel and is complicit in the immunity it enjoys, allowing it to evade sanctions and punishment," the ministry added.

READ: New UK PM has no plans to relocate embassy to Jerusalem

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