Palestine plans to sue the UK Government over Balfour Declaration

President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced his plans to sue the British Government over the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which paved the way for the creation of the Zionist entity of Israel.

Foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki delivered the statement in President Abbas’ absence at the opening of the Arab League summit in Mauritania on Monday.

It called on other Muslim majority states to help the Palestinian government launch a lawsuit against the UK over the declaration which was signed during World War One.

Mr Abbas accused Britain of supporting “Israeli crimes” since the end of the Mandate for Palestine, and claimed the country played a key role in the exodus of Palestinian refugees.

balfour-declaration“Nearly a century has passed since the issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917,” his statement said according to a transcript published by the Wafa news agency.

“And based on this ill-omened promise hundreds of thousands of Jews were moved from Europe and elsewhere to Palestine at the expense of our Palestinian people whose parents and grandparents had lived for thousands of years on the soil of their homeland.”


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Mr al-Maliki told delegates in Nouakchott the lawsuit would be filed in an international court but did not give further details.

The speech described the Balfour Declaration as a “fateful promise from those who do not own to those who do not deserve”.

A letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish Community, it said the UK Government of the time favoured the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”.

The Zionist entity declared “independence” in 1948 after the mandate expired and won the subsequent Arab-Israeli War, prompting significant demographic change in the region.

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told 5Pillars it was aware of Mr al-Maliki’s speech at the Arab League summit but made no comment.

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