Erekat calls on Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration

Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Secretary Saeb Erekat on Saturday called on Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for the creation of an occupying power in Palestine.

Erekat said in a press statement on the occasion of the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that Britain "must seize the political opportunity to play an active and essential role in resolving the political issue of the people of Palestine over a century by apologizing to our people and recognizing its legal and political responsibility for the injustice inflicted on it."

Erekat urged Britain to "recognize the Palestinian state and push for practical initiatives that will translate its will to deter occupation, settlement and ethnic cleansing led by the occupation authority to establish a racist colonial system based on racist national law."

"Although these measures alone will not erase the consequences of colonialism, they will serve as a model for the rest of the international community to carry out its duties to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and around the world."

Erekat said that "it is time for Britain to act responsibly to make a qualitative shift necessary towards the realization of the political rights of the Palestinian people, which Balfour rejected and denied more than a century ago."

He stressed that Palestine "continues to be the victim of the Balfour Declaration of colonialism and its creation by the occupying power, which upheld the ominous promise to deny the political rights of our people and their legitimate and inherent right to self-determination."

Today marks the 102nd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which was a message from former British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour in 1917 to one of the leaders of the world Zionist movement, Lord Lionel Rothschild, of Britain's support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

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