Palestinians mark 103rd anniversary of Balfour Declaration, call for independence

The Palestinians marked on Monday 103rd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and called on Britain to recognize an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.

The declaration was a statement by the British government on Nov. 2, 1917, announcing its support for the Jewish people to build their state on Palestine’s lands.

On Monday, dozens of Palestinians demonstrated in the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah upon the Palestinian factions’ call to mark the anniversary. They marched in the streets, waving Palestinian flags and carrying banners against the declaration.

Essam Bakker, the coordinator of the factions, told Xinhua that the protest was organized to stress the Palestinians’ adherence to their land and opposition to the declaration.

“The Palestinians reject all projects aimed at liquidating the Palestinian issue,” said Bakker. “We reject Balfour Declaration, the U.S. ‘Deal of the Century’, the Israeli plan to annex the West Bank, and the Arab normalization with Israel.”

Meanwhile, protests and rallies were also organized at schools and universities. The official state-run Palestine Television devoted hours of live broadcasting to the activities.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye called on Britain to recognize the independent state of Palestine on the borders approved by the international legitimacy with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Ishtaye told a weekly online meeting of the Palestinian Authority cabinet that “the recognition of a Palestinian state must be the British compensation.”

A few days ago, several independent Palestinian figures announced that they had filed a lawsuit in the Palestinian courts against the Balfour Declaration, the first legal move of such kind, urging Britain to “correct a historical error.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement said in a press statement that the Palestinian people “will not yield to the plans that began with the Balfour Declaration.”

In Gaza, the Islamic Hamas movement and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said in two separate statements that the Balfour Declaration “was, is and will be rejected by the Palestinians.”