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Britain must apologize for Balfour declaration: Palestinian PM

Ramallha, Oct 29 (IANS) Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Sunday called on Britain to apologize for the Balfour declaration that has aided the establishment of Israel on the lands of Palestine, instead of celebrating it.

Hamdallah said that Britain “should undertake its responsibility and apologize for the historic injustice that it has caused for the Palestinian people and rectify it instead of celebrating it,” Xinhua reported.

He described Britain’s centennial celebration of the declaration as a “defiance of international public supporters of the Palestinian cause and supporters of justice, freedom and human rights”.

November 2 marks 100 years since the Balfour declaration, which is the name given to the letter dated in 1917 from Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, who was then a leader of the British Jewish community, announcing British support for the Jewish people to build their state on the lands of Palestine.

Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, announced last Wednesday that her country “will certainly mark the centenary with pride.”

“We must also be conscious of the sensitivities that some people do have about the Balfour declaration and we recognize that there is more to be done. We remain committed to the two-state solution in relation to Israel and the Palestinians,” she added.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded during his UN General Assembly speech last September that Britain apologize for the Balfour declaration and compensate Palestinians for the occupation of their lands after that letter paved the way for it.

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