Palestine court hears case in lawsuit against UK over Balfour Declaration

A Palestinian court yesterday held the first session to review a lawsuit filed against the British government over its crimes in Palestine during the British Mandate between 1917- 1948 and the Balfour Declaration which promised Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people.

The Court of First Instance in the city of Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, heard Palestinian witnesses who had been evicted from their villages in 1948 by Jewish militias and the crimes committed during that period.

The United Kingdom did not send a representative to attend the session.

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The judge postponed the session until 6 December.

One of the lawsuit initiators, Munib Al-Masri, said this is a serious and organised step to bring Britain to account over the damage caused by the Balfour Declaration, adding that after the Palestinian court issues its decision, they plan to go to the British judiciary and the international courts.

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The lawsuit was filed by the International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (ICSRP) on behalf of Palestinian families last October.

The lawsuit holds "the UK legally responsible for the consequences arising from violating rules, morals and international law and for the crimes it committed during the colonization of Palestine, including the Balfour Declaration."

The Balfour Declaration refers to the letter sent by then British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, in 1917 to Jewish Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, favouring a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.


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