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PLO officials on the Balfour Declaration: “A colonialist promise… [Britain’s] sin;” an "ominous promise”

Headline: “Palestine and its friends demand that Britain apologize”
      “Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Saeb Erekat emphasized that our people is rooted and stands firm in its land, in which its forefathers have lived for thousands of years, and in all of the places where they are located in the diaspora and in the refugee camps until the return…
In response to the latest British statements regarding pride in the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) and the fact that the British government is celebrating it and not apologizing for it (see note below –Ed.), Erekat emphasized: ‘There is no greater shame than to celebrate a colonialist promise in the 21st century. Britain should have used the opportunity to correct its sin, apologize to the Palestinian people for the historical injustice it caused to it, do justice with the victims through compensation among other things, recognize the State of Palestine, and to support the removal of Israel’s immunity, demand an accounting of it, and make it pay the price of its occupation’…
PLO Executive Committee member and Director of the Department for Refugee Affairs Zakariya Al-Agha said: ‘On exactly this day in 1917, Britain issued the ominous Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) that gave the Jews the right to establish a national homeland on the land of Palestine, and opened wide the gates of Jewish immigration to Palestine in order to enable them to take over the Palestinian land and establish their state on the ruins of our cities and villages destroyed in 1948. This ominous promise is what led to the expulsion of our people from its homes and property after massacres and crimes were committed against it as part of an international plot.’"

Ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, British Prime Minister Theresa May said before the British House of Commons on Oct. 25, 2017: “We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the State of Israel, and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride.”

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.” In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate “responsible for putting into effect the declaration,” which led to the UN vote in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel.

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