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PLO demands Britain apologize for “historical injustice” caused by “colonialist and ominous” Balfour Declaration

Headline: “The [PLO] Executive Committee opposes the Israeli plundering of Palestinian land, which is called ‘the Regularization Law,’ and calls on the international community to oppose it”

Excerpt from the full text of the statement published by the PLO Executive Committee in a meeting held on Feb. 13, 2017.

“The [PLO] Executive Committee discussed Britain’s decision to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ominous Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) this year. It called on Britain to cancel this celebration, and apologize to the Palestinian people for the crime and the human tragedy that Britain caused it 100 years ago. [It also called on Britain] to fix this mistake and the historical injustice that was caused as a result of this colonialist promise, to recognize the State of Palestine and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to the lands from which they were uprooted by brute military force, and to compensate the Palestinian people for the damages of the human tragedy that was caused as a result of this colonialist and ominous promise.”

Regularization Law - intended to validate and finalize registration of land in Judea and Samaria with the Civil Administration Authority for Government and Abandoned Property in cases where any private claimant makes claims to lands that were thought to be government land after communities have already been built on the land in good faith - i.e., without the knowledge that the land was privately-owned - or with government support. The law will do so by transferring use of the land to the community in question providing a mechanism to compensate claimants to ownership of the land if their claims are validated. The law is intended to provide protection for Israeli towns in the West Bank established and built with Israeli government support from later claims of ownership by private individuals, similarly to existing laws in Israel in regard to property claims made for land on which government sanctioned communities have already been built. Currently, Israeli homes in a number of towns in the West Bank are vulnerable to claimants demanding their demolition, even if claims are only made long after families built their homes and are residing there.
Compensation: In cases of validated claims the Regularization Law expropriates the use of the land for the community's use until such a time as the final status of the area is determined, and states that the owner will be entitled to damages of 125% of the value of the land before the community was built, or alternative plots of land, according to his choice.
The law would not apply retroactively to cases already heard by the Israeli Supreme Court.
The law was ratified on Feb. 6, 2017.

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.