x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 November 2017

British activists walk to Palestine in protest at Balfour Declaration

The journey, which took around six months, was timed to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the statement

A group of British activists journeyed to Jerusalem to protest at the Balfour Declaration. It comes as Palestinians, like the ones pictured, are taking part in protests calling on Britain to apologise for the statement. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
A group of British activists journeyed to Jerusalem to protest at the Balfour Declaration. It comes as Palestinians, like the ones pictured, are taking part in protests calling on Britain to apologise for the statement. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

A group of British activists spent six months walking from the UK to Palestine to apologise for the Balfour Declaration, which helped pave the way for a Jewish nation state.

The journey, which took 174 days in total, was timed to coincide with the centenary of the statement written by Britain’s then foreign secretary Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917.

A series of events are being held across the UK to mark the 100-year anniversary of the statement, in which the British government stated its support for the establishment of a national home for Jewish people in Palestine.

According to Al Arabiya, the activists walked across 11 countries, covering thousands of kilometres, on their journey to Jerusalem.

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Over 100 activists joined Palestinians to walk through villages and view Israeli settlement expansions. Villagers welcome the British group during their journey, Al Arabiya reports.

Last week, Israeli authorities approved a major expansion of an east Jerusalem settlement, signing off on plans to add 176 homes, the city's deputy mayor said.

The latest approvals came after Israel advanced plans for more than 2,600 settlement homes in various areas of the occupied West Bank.

The activists declared their opposition to the Balfour Declaration and launched a campaign to protest at the Israeli occupation.

The statement had far-reaching consequences for supporters of the Zionist cause and those living in Palestine. It is widely seen as the starting point of a chain of events that resulted in today’s bitter conflict.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, has refused to attend an official celebratory dinner to mark the centenary of the declaration.

The dinner, which will be held in London on Thursday, will be attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Prime Minister Theresa May.