LONDON: A petition for an apology from the UK government for atrocities committed in Palestine in the first half of the 20th century will be lodged by a Palestinian businessman and former politician, it was reported Friday.
A 300-page document outlining crimes and abuses committed by British forces in Palestine between 1917 and 1948 has been drafted by Munib Al-Masri, a close friend and ally of late Palestinian political leader Yasser Arafat, according to the BBC.
The 88-year-old told the broadcaster he was shot as a young boy in 1944, an incident that affected him in his adult life, saying: “(Britain’s role) affected me a lot because I saw how people were harassed…We had no protection whatsoever and nobody to defend us.”
Al-Masri will present his dossier to the British government later this year.
Luis Moreno Ocampo, a former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, and British lawyer Ben Emmerson are reviewing the evidence.
Emmerson told the BBC that “shocking crimes committed by certain elements of the British mandatory forces” were carried out “systematically on the Palestinian population,” adding that even during the time the crimes were carried out, they would have been seen as breaches of international law.
According to the BBC, the British Defense Ministry said it was aware of “historical allegations” during the period outlined in the dossier and that any evidence would be “reviewed thoroughly.”