Palestinian Lawsuit against Balfour Declaration

Mauritania, 26 Syawwal 1437/31 July 2016 (MINA)  – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked Arab leaders to support the lawsuit on the grounds it led to the Palestinian exodus from the state of Israel.

Abbas said the Palestinian Authority would sue Britain for its support of the Balfour Declaration, a document which in 1917 laid the groundwork for Israel’s founding, The Atlantic reported.

The announcement was made on Abbas behalf by Riad Maliki, the Palestinian foreign minister, on Wednesday (27 July) at the opening of the 27th Arab League summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Maliki said the suit, which would be filed in an international court, would be made on the grounds that British support for establishing a Jewish homeland in Mandate Palestine led to the Palestinian nakba, or “catastrophe.”

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Palestinians use the term to describe the displacement of approximately 700,000 Palestinians following the creation of Israel in 1948.

Maliki said the issue will remain pending until Britain apologizes.

The 1917 Balfour Declaration was a written correspondence between Arthur Balfour, the then-British foreign secretary, and Walter Rothschild, a leader in the British Jewish community. It established Britain’s support for the creation of a Jewish national home, and was adopted by the international community after World War II.

Maliki called the declaration a “fateful promise from the ones who don’t own to the ones who don’t deserve.”

In addition for calling on Arab states’ support of the lawsuit, Maliki reiterated Abbas’s backing of the French peace initiative aimed at relaunching Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which last took place in 2014.

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The Balfour Declaration will celebrate its centenary in November 2017.  (P4/R07)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)