Abbas orders flags flown at half-mast as Palestinians mourn 104 years since Balfour Declaration

Abbas orders flags flown at half-mast as Palestinians mourn 104 years since Balfour Declaration
On Monday, the Palestinians marked the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and called on UK to recognise an independent Palestinian state along 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.
2 min read
01 November, 2021
Balfour Declaration was a statement by the British government on Nov. 2, 1917, announcing its support for the Jewish people to build their state on Palestine's lands. (Getty)

Palestinians marked on Monday 104 years since the Balfour Declaration, a controversial public pledge by the UK during the First World War that led to the creation of a Jewish state in historic Palestine.

Dozens of Palestinians protested in front of the headquarter of the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) in Gaza.

Protesters waved Palestinian flags and carried banners mourning the declaration, urging the UK to right its wrongs and recognise an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Abdullah Qandeel, the national and Islamic factions coordinator, told The New Arab that protests were organised to highlight how Palestinians are holding on to their land and remain opposed to the declaration.

"We are here to say that the Palestinian people reject all attempts of blatant bias towards the Israeli occupation, whether with American support or even British recognition," Qandeel said.

"We want to send our message to the British people and tell them that we are a people who live with daily persecution from the Israeli occupation because your government recognised a Jewish state on our land," he added.

He called on the British people to put pressure on the government and demand that it cancel the declaration immediately.

The November 1917 Balfour Declaration stated that the UK would "favourably" on the creation of a "Jewish national home" in Palestine.

The UK occupied historic Palestine after the First World war, which saw a rapid increase in Jewish settlement expansions in the area, eventually leading to the creation of Israel in 1948.

Millions of Palestinians fled abroad during the 1948 creation of Israel and its subsequent occupation of the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree on Sunday to fly the national flag at half-mast in all government ministries and Palestinian embassies and representative offices abroad on 2 November to commemorate the declaration.

Abbas seeks to remind the world in general, and the United Kingdom in particular, of the suffering of the Palestinian people and their rights to achieve independence, statehood, and self-determination, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.