100 years: Israelis, British honor Balfour Declaration, Palestinians protest

Balfour document led to ‘century of genocide’ Diplomat

He said: "As we work on advancing the UK-Israel relationship, it is important that we also work to fulfil all parts of the Declaration", adding: "The second part of Balfour's Declaration remains unfinished business".

Israel sees the letter as the first step and recognition from a major world power in backing the Jewish people's hopes of a national home.

McDonald said: "If written after the Second World War, when the global community developed a rules-based worldwide architecture, the Declaration would have included the political rights of self-determination of these communities too".

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration will be marked by celebrations or protests by the different communities affected by it.

"This declaration has established the many political and humanitarian tragedies that befell our people to the present moment and has in fact paved the road for our dispossession and the systematic denial of our inalienable right to self-determination", his statement continued.

How do Palestinians view the declaration?

On November 2, 1917, British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour wrote a letter to Britain's Jewish citizen Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, expressing the government's support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

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"The Palestinian people have suffered as a result of this promise", Abbas said, highlighting the Nakba, or "catastrophe" in 1948, during which time the state of Israel was created, leaving some 750,000 Palestinians and millions of their descendants as refugees.

Rawada Odeh, a demonstrator in Jerusalem, said she was protesting because Balfour promised a home to the Zionists while neglecting that there is a "Palestinian population here in our land".

"A foreign land made a decision to give our territory to people who do not own it, Palestine was always our land, and we will never stop until it is recognised that it belongs to our people", Alaween continued. It wasn't a tragedy. Lord Harding, permanent under-secretary 100 years ago, was not unsympathetic to the Zionist cause, but opposed the declaration because he "distrusted general pledges" and had "concerns about giving encouragement to a movement based on conditions we can not enforce".

"One hundred years after Balfour, the Palestinians should finally accept a Jewish national home and finally accept a Jewish state".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday met with his British counterpart Theresa May in London to mark the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.

The U.K. has rejected calls to apologize for the Declaration and recognize the Palestinian state, despite a vote in parliament to do it. But the British government says such criticism is misplaced.

The Balfour Declaration was put into action in April 1920 at the San Remo conference of World War I allies which delivered a mandate on Palestine, then a region of the Ottoman Empire.

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