Former Hamas leader: We will trample Balfour Declaration

Khaled Mashaal says Palestinian Arabs will forcefully cancel the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

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Dalit Halevi,

Khaled Mashaal
Khaled Mashaal
Flash 90

Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Thursday vowed that the Palestinian Arabs will forcefully cancel the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which proclaimed Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in then-Palestine.

Speaking at a conference in Gaza, Mashaal attacked Britain for boasting of the "crime" of the Balfour Declaration instead of apologizing for this "mistake" and correcting it.

“We do not expect them to correct history,” he said, adding, "We will take the initiative into our own hands and correct history and the Palestinian people and the fighters will trample the Balfour Declaration with their feet.”

In a defiant tone, Mashaal then said that the Palestinians did not need an apology from Britain and that this "crime" would forever be a mark of Cain on its forehead.

The former Hamas leader also noted that the Palestinian people have a right to resistance in all its forms, including armed resistance, although at this stage Hamas is prepared to carry out "popular resistance" in Judea and Samaria.

Palestinian Arab organizations have for months been waging a campaign aimed at forcing Britain to apologize for the document. On Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah demanded not just a British apology for the document, but also compensation.

On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was proud of the Balfour Declaration and of the role Britain played in creating the state of Israel.

And, on Thursday, speaking during an official dinner marking the 100th anniversary of the Declaration, British Prime Minister Theresa May outright rejected the calls for Britain to apologize.

“Balfour wrote explicitly that 'nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country,'” she said.

“So when some people suggest we should apologize for this letter, I say absolutely not,” she continued.








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