Suing the British Government over Balfour??

It looks like the Abbas administration is planning on taking some kind of legal action against the United Kingdom (as if Brexit weren’t enough) over the Balfour Declaration made almost 100 years ago.

The Arab League met in Mauritania where the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki read out a speech on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas which was reported on by the PA controlled Wafa News Agency and translated by a BBC service called BBC Monitoring.

Below is not the full text of the speech several paragraphs have been removed for the sake of brevity.

Brother President,

Brother Leaders,

Almost a century has passed since the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917. Based on this infamous declaration made by “someone who does not own to someone who is not entitled,” hundreds of thousands of Jews were transferred from Europe and elsewhere to Palestine at the expense of our Palestinian people, who have lived with their fathers and forefathers for thousands of years on the soil of their homeland.

Afterward, the British Mandate authority and major powers at the time allowed Jewish terrorist movements to uproot, expel, and evict around half the population of Palestine to neighbouring countries and the remainder of historical Palestine. In the wake of the Nakba, the Israeli forces destroyed more than 485 Palestinian towns and villages. Consequently, six million Palestinians currently live in exile and in the diaspora.

We are working to open the files of Israeli crimes committed against our people since the end of the British Mandate in Palestine, going through the massacres that it carried out in 1948 and afterward.

On this painful anniversary and the passing of around 100 years since this historic massacre was committed against our land and the fate of our people, and given the continuation of this disaster without a solution, we are asking the General Secretariat of the Arab League to help us prepare a legal file to lodge a lawsuit against the British Government for issuing the Balfour Declaration and implementing it afterward as a Mandate authority, which caused the Nakba of the Palestinian people and displaced them and deprived them of living in their homeland and establishing their independent state like the other peoples of the region.

As long as injustice against our people remains, our people will not forgive those who conspired against them and caused displacement, catastrophes, and setbacks to them and deprived them of leading a normal life in their homeland and having an independent and sovereign state. On the other hand, our people will not forget the good countries and peoples, particularly our Arab brothers, and many friendly countries that have extended a helping hand to the Palestinian people, sided by them, and embraced them in their ordeal and suffering.

I reiterate that despite the appreciable efforts made by the United States, Russia, the EU, and the United Nations separately to support the achievement of peace in our region, the mechanism of the international Quartet has failed again to carry out its duties in accordance with the roadmap plan. The Quartet has recently issued a biased and unacceptable report, which prejudices the resolutions of international legitimacy and twists the truth as it equated between the victim and executioner. This will encourage Israel, the occupying power, to persist in its oppression and violations of international law. [In February the Quartet released a report condemning incitement from the Palestinian Authority].

We are working with determination to maintain the unity of our land and people and are cooperating with our brothers in our bid to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation, hold presidential and legislative elections, and break the blockade on the Gaza Strip. We are making continuous efforts to rebuild what the occupation destroyed in three wars against the Gaza Strip. The national consensus government is also assuming its responsibilities in full towards the Gaza Strip despite the dire financial straits it is facing. The Palestinian Central Elections Commission is currently organising the holding of local elections in October.