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Balfour Declaration Crime Against Humanity

November 7, 2013 by  


By Mohammed Mar’i

RAMALLAH–On Nov. 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour announced that his government views “with favor the establishment in Palestine a national home for the Jewish people,” laying the foundation for the creation of Israel more than 30 years later.

The Palestinian Ministry of Information said in a statement on the 96th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that “since 1917, the Palestinian people are paying the price of the biggest political crime in contemporary history.” It said that the declaration was “a mark of shame on humanity.”

The ministry said that the declaration “began the Zionists’ process of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from their homeland, which continues until today.”

It added that “Britain and the entire world must recognize the usurped Palestinian rights because everything thing that has befallen Palestine – it’s partition, the aggression, the suppression, the settlements, the arrests, the separation wall, the siege on Gaza, and the millions of Palestinians living in exile – was made possible because of the Balfour Declaration.”

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement said that they called the declaration “infamous” and “illegal promise” that brought misery to the Palestinians.

The movement held Britain and other supporters of Israel as responsible for “racist and Zionist crimes.”

Fatah said that “the Palestinian people are determined to get all their rights and to liberate their homeland from Israeli occupation and Jewish settlers.”

It called upon Britain to apologize and make amends for the crimes committed against Palestine because of the declaration.

The development comes as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met more than ten times since peace talks were renewed at the end of July in Washington after a three-year halt in talks in an attempt to solve the final status issues; Jerusalem, refugees, boundaries, settlements and security. Israel’s ongoing expansion of its West Bank settlements, however, has continued.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar agreed to expedite four construction plans in occupied Jerusalem hours after a second batch of 26 Palestinian prisoners was released.

The Israeli Channel 10 television said that one of the plans involves the immediate approval for construction of 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement, to the north of Jerusalem. In addition, current owners of apartments in Ramat Shlomo would be allowed to expand their homes with another room to the size of 50 square-meters.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour said that “Israel would rather stay an occupying power” than be a partner for peace.

Mansour said in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Israel has proven time and time again, with announcements of new settlement unit construction, that its efforts for peace are insincere.

“Israel continues construction of its illegal settlements, including seizing and looting land, as well as forced displacement of Palestinian families, while building thousands of housing units,” he wrote in the letter.

This “shamelessly shows disrespect for international law and the international efforts to support the peace process,” he added. Mansour said that due to Israel’s actions, international hopes for a resolution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have “diminished.”

Saudi Gazette

15-46

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