Palestinian leaders are seeking Arab League support for a complaint they intend to file against Britain for its 1917 Balfour Declaration backing a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
“Almost a century has passed since 1917,” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said in an address to an Arab League meeting in Mauritania, seen by AFP on Tuesday.
“On the basis of this promise made by a party which did not possess (the land) to a party undeserving of it, hundreds of thousands of Jews from Europe and elsewhere came to settle in Palestine at the expense of our people, whose ancestors have lived for millennia on the soil of our land,” he said in Monday’s speech delivered on behalf of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Malki did not say to which body a complaint would be made.
Israeli foreign ministry chief Dore Gold called the proposal “a desperate effort to delegitimise Israel”, on his Twitter account.
In 2012, the Palestinians won the status of an observer state in the United Nations.
In 2015 they joined the International Criminal Court and formally asked it to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war.
The declaration issued on November 2, 1917 by British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour said the British government “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.
It was a major step towards the eventual establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.