On 103rd Anniversary of Balfour Declaration, Palestinian PM Calls on Britain to Recognize State of Palestine

On 103rd Anniversary of Balfour Declaration, Palestinian PM Calls on Britain to Recognize State of Palestine

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyah (File photo)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyah called on Britain to recognize the independent state of Palestine on the borders approved by the international legitimacy with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Speaking during a weekly online meeting of the Palestinian Authority cabinet which coincides with the 103rd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Shtayyah said that "the recognition of a Palestinian state must be the British compensation."

A few days ago, several independent Palestinian figures announced that they had filed a lawsuit in the Palestinian courts against the Balfour Declaration, the first legal move of such kind, urging Britain to "correct a historical error."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement said in a press statement that the Palestinian people "will not yield to the plans that began with the Balfour Declaration."

In Gaza, the Islamic Hamas movement and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said in two separate statements that the Balfour Declaration "was, is and will be rejected by the Palestinians."

More than a century on, millions of Palestinian refugees continue to grapple with the devastating upshots of the Balfour Declaration, which led to a significant upheaval in the lives of Palestinians.

Issued on November 2, 1917, the declaration turned the Zionist aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine into a reality when Britain publicly pledged to establish "a national home for the Jewish people" there.

The pledge came in the form of a letter from Britain's then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community.

Though the Balfour Declaration included the admonition that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine", the British mandate was set up in a way to equip Jews with the tools to establish self-rule, at the expense of the Palestinian Arabs.

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