Rallies in Gaza mark 104 years since Balfour Declaration

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The protesters demand that Britain recognize an independent Palestinian state and provide compensation for the suffering resulting from the historic statement.

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Gaza City – Dozens of Palestinians have taken part in a protest at the Jabaliya refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip, demanding the United Kingdom recognize an independent Palestinian state.

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came on the 104th anniversary of the protests Balfour Declaration, a public pledge made by the UK, expressing its support for “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. This statement came in the form of a letter from the then UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour.

Palestinian factions held Tuesday’s rally, where protesters raised banners and raised slogans calling for Britain to stand up to its responsibility and recognize an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and acknowledge the suffering caused by the statement. urged to do

A demonstration in northern Gaza marks the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration [File: Mohammed Salem/Al Jazeera]
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Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanu told Al Jazeera that Britain is fully responsible for “historic, political and moral crimes” against the Palestinian people.

He said, “Since that pledge, our people have been in a constant torment and open battle with the Israeli occupation, to gain their right to the land that was gifted to Israel to establish its land.” was,” he said.

Al-Qanu said Britain should compensate the Palestinians for the injustices that resulted from the declaration.

“No matter how long it takes, we will not give up our rights to protest and struggle until it is freed from occupation,” he said.

For his part, Aref Naeem, a member of the Fida party, said that the “ominous pledge” led to mass displacement, murder and land seizure and was not forgotten by the Palestinians.

“The international community remains silent to this day about the crime of theft of Palestinian land and displacing thousands of Palestinians. The Palestinian people paid a heavy price and still do.”

Naeem called on the international community to increase pressure on Israel to end its decades-long occupation of the Palestinian Territories and to implement all UN resolutions, including the right to return and the right to self-determination for Palestinians.

Participants holding banners wrote ‘Balfour Declaration: Promise to those who don’t deserve what they don’t deserve’ [File: Mohammed Salem/Al Jazeera]

The Balfour Declaration is widely seen as starting the process that would lead to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

In the war surrounding the creation of the Israeli state, more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes in what the Palestinians call the nakba, or “disaster”.

Earlier this week, President Mahmoud Abbas issued an order to fly the national flag at half-staff on November 2 each year, marking the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The decree expressed the importance of “reminding the world in general and the United Kingdom in particular of the suffering of the Palestinian people and their rights to achieve freedom, statehood and self-determination”.

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