PALESTINIAN President Mahmoud Abbas has enacted a presidential decree ordering the national flag to be flown at half-mast today and tomorrow, and on November 1st and 2nd every year, to mark the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing support for the establishment of a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ in Palestine, which later led to the suffering of the Palestinian people and their displacement from their land by the Zionist movement.
The decree issued by President Abbas orders the flag of Palestine to be flown at half-mast in all government ministries and departments, and in all the Palestinian embassies and representative offices abroad.
The decree aims to remind the world in general and the United Kingdom in particular of the suffering of the Palestinian people and their right to independence, statehood and self-determination.
Also early yesterday morning, dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem under the protection of the Israeli regime’s forces in the latest provocation against the Palestinian people.
The settlers entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate in the early hours of Sunday to mark a Jewish religious occasion and performed Talmudic rituals at the site, which is venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Hardline Israeli legislators and settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians.
Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in Jerusalem.
Back in May, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.
Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state and regard Jerusalem’s eastern sector as the capital of their future sovereign state.
Meanwhile, colonial Israeli settlers assaulted and injured a Palestinian child and attacked herders in the northern Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank yesterday.
Aref Daraghmeh, an official in charge of monitoring the Israeli settlement file in the area, said that a group of settlers attacked Palestinian herders while they were grazing their sheep near Khirbet Makhoul village and forced them to leave.
He added that a 14-year-old Palestinian boy, Hussein Yousef Besharat, was assaulted by the settlers, and badly bruised.
Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians are commonplace, but attacks on farmers and herders are being particularly intensified in the Jordan Valley area.
Most of these attacks occur in the presence of the Israeli occupation army, which usually does nothing to stop them but rather provides protection for the assailants.
Armed settlers and soldiers often prevent Palestinian shepherds from herding their flocks in the open pastures of the occupied West Bank in their attempts to force them to abandon the area.