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Palestine looking to sue Britain for helping create Israel

The Balfour Declaration paved the way to the 1948 creation of Israel [Public Domain]

Date of publication: 27 July, 2016

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Palestinian authorities have sought Arab League support to sue Britain for its 1917 Balfour Declaration that paved the way for the creation of Israel in 1948.

Palestinian leaders will attempt to file a lawsuit against Britain for its its 1917 Balfour Declaration that gave away Palestinian land to Jews fleeing persecution in Europe.

Officials sought Arab League support for the complaint at the 27th annual meeting in Mauritania on Tuesday, as foreign minister, Riyad al-Malki reminded attendees "almost a century has passed since 1917."

"On the basis of this promise made by a party which did not possess (the land) to a party undeserving of it, hundreds of thousands of Jews from Europe and elsewhere came to settle in Palestine at the expense of our people, whose ancestors have lived for millennia on the soil of our land," he said in a speech delivered on behalf of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

However, Malki fell short of specifying to which body a complaint would be made.

In response, Israeli foreign ministry chief Dore Gold called the proposal "a desperate effort to delegitimise Israel".

Despite Israeli protest, Palestine joined the International Criminal Court in 2015 and formally asked the body to investigate Israel for the war crimes witnessed during the 2014 deadly war on Gaza.

Just three years earlier, Palestine won the status of an observer state in the United Nations, allowing the Palestinian flag to fly among those of other nations at the UN headquarters for the first time.

Former British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour issued a declaration on November 2, 1917 that stated his government "view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people".

The Balfour Declaration was the most pivotal step towards the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 in what was the 90 percent Arab-majority land of Palestine.


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