Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud AbbasSTR/Flash 90

The Fatah movement headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who also serves as Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman, on Wednesday condemned British Prime Minister Theresa May, who announced her intention to officially mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

Munib al-Jar'ub, the Fatah official in charge of public diplomacy, said that May's remarks express a bias toward the "racist occupation state", a reference to Israel, and represent a danger of legitimizing an "occupation" that targets Palestinian land and man.

Jar'ub called on the British government to assume its historical, legal, political, financial and moral responsibility for the implications of the Balfour Declaration, and to apologize to the Palestinians for the disasters and injustices they had suffered, as well as to rectify the "historic catastrophe" by recognizing an independent Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Fatah also called on Britain to retract the statements that legitimized the "occupation" and to force Israel to implement the decisions of the international institutions and to bring it to justice for the crimes it had committed against the Palestinians.

Palestinian Arab organizations have for months been waging a campaign aimed at forcing Britain to apologize for the 1917 declaration, in which Britain pledged to establish a national home for the Jewish people.

The November 2, 1917, Balfour Declaration was sent by then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour and proclaimed Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in then-Palestine.

The British government in April rejected the demand to apologize for the Declaration, saying, “The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace.”