The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has insisted on the legitimacy of “all forms” of resistance against the Israeli occupation on the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Hamas stressed that the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their homes from which they were displaced is a legitimate and legal right guaranteed under international laws, and which cannot be waived or bargained over.
The statement emphasized that the resistance in all its forms, from the popular to armed resistance, “would remain a legitimate option, which has proved its utility,” until the Palestinian people’s “usurped” rights are restored and the Israeli occupation ends.
Referring to the UK’s continued support for the Zionism until the Israeli occupation of Palestine in 1948, Hamas stressed the Britain “bears the guilt” of the Balfour declaration.
Hamas stated that the practical apology to the Palestinian people for the “inauspicious” Balfour Declaration occurs when the Palestinian refugees return to their homes and when they are compensated for what they have suffered.
The Balfour Declaration came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community. It was published on November 2, 1917.
The declaration was made during the World War I (1914-1918) and was included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
It is widely seen as the precursor to the 1948 Palestinian Nakba, when Zionist armed paramilitary groups, who were trained and created to fight side by side with the British in World War II, forcibly expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland.
On the 104th anniversary of the declaration, Hamas also decried the silence of the international community on the crimes committed by the Israelis against the Palestinians from oppression and displacement to killings.