This week marked the 106th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
On November 2, 1917, the British government announced it’s pledge to support a “national home for Jewish people”‘ in the land of Palestine.
This led to becoming one of the main incentives of the Nakba, or ethnic cleansing, of Palestine in 1948, and resulted in the 75-year-occupation of Palestine by the Zionist Regime.
The name Balfour derives its name from the then UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour who wrote the letter to Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community.
“His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object,” the declaration read.
This is viewed as a poignant beginning to the 1948 formation of Israel, a move that resulted in the ethnic cleansing or Nakba of over 750,000 Palestinians from their native lands.
Most of the people forcibly taken out of their homes sought refuge in the Gaza Strip. 70% of the population today are descendants of refugees.
The Balfour mandate in essence ignored the will of the residents already living in the territory and as a foreign entity, carved up land to establish a Jewish nation state. The main goal of the British Mandate was to create the conditions for the Jews to practice self-rule in a land where they constituted only 10 percent of the population.
The current escalation of violence by Israel in the Gaza Strip has ignited fears of a “second Nakba,” following a leaked intelligence document that revealed Israel’s plan to displace the people of Gaza to Egypt.
Over 10,000 people have been killed by Israeli aggression in Gaza, as the Israeli regime continues to halt humanitarian supplies into the Palestinian territory, triggering a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
Increased violence by Israeli settlers and forces in the occupied West bank has also been reported with Palestinians forced to leave their villages.
The Secretariat General of the Arab League drew parallels of the Balfour Declaration to the current violence by Israel on Palestinians in today’s era.
What is happening these days in the Gaza Strip and in the occupied West Bank is a continuation of the series of massacres, displacement, and emptying the land of its original inhabitants, which began with the ill-fated Balfour Declaration,” the statement read.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) further said, “This painful anniversary coincides with the ongoing crises in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially in the Gaza Strip, which is witnessing the escalation of killings, organized terrorism, displacement, and the deliberate destruction of residential buildings, schools, hospitals, places of worship, and infrastructure. These actions constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Israeli occupation.”
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