Skip to main content

Fatah condemns Britain at Paris Peace Conference, calls Balfour Declaration a ‘crime’

Headline: “Fatah condemned the position of Britain and called on it to atone for the crime of ‘the Balfour Promise’”

“The Fatah Movement expressed its condemnations of the position of Britain regarding the declaration of the Paris Peace Conference (Britain refused to sign the declaration, see note below –Ed.), and its reservations on the position of the international consensus that calls for the two-state solution on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders (i.e., the ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries, 1949-1967), opposes all changes that harm this solution, and supports international [UN] Security Council Resolution 2334, which opposes settlement and considers it illegal…
The statement added that what doubles the condemnations of the British position is the fact that Britain alone bears the historical responsibility for the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) that befell the Palestinian people through the crime of the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration). It would have been appropriate for it to immediately recognize the Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem, instead of disagreeing and abstaining from supporting the legal right of the Palestinian people to freedom and independence.
Fatah demanded that the government of Britain correct its position and join the international consensus through support of the national rights of our people to get rid of the occupation and settlement, and to establish its independent Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem, in order to atone for the historical crime it caused our people 100 years ago, which continues to this day.”

Paris Peace Conference - A peace conference was held in Paris on Jan. 15, 2017, attended by representatives from over 70 countries, but with no representatives from Israel or the PA. The conference issued a declaration calling for a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians based on the two-state solution and praising UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Britain and Australia refused to sign the declaration, with Britain arguing that the declaration, which was made as part of the French Peace Initiative, might harden the Palestinian negotiating position, particularly given its timing right before the inauguration of US President Donald Trump’s administration. The following day Britain blocked the EU Foreign Affairs Council from adopting the declaration.

UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was passed on Dec. 23, 2016, by a vote of 14-0 with one abstention.
The resolution condemned the establishment of Israeli "settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem," saying it "has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace." It demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities” in the area. The resolution further said “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines” other than changes made through negotiations, in reference to the 1949-1967 ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries following Israel's 1948 War of Independence.
The resolution called “upon all States… to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” It also called "to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as acts of provocation and destruction... and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism," and noted the obligation of "the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities."
The US abstained instead of vetoing the resolution, in a breach of longstanding US policy of not allowing the UN to force conditions on Israel in place of direct negotiations. This policy change came during US President Barack Obama’s final weeks in office.

Extra info:

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and is seen as the basis for later international commitments to establish the State of Israel.

RelatedView all ❯