Palestine British Mandate - History

Palestine British Mandate - History

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Under terms agreed to at the Versailles Conference, the British government was given the mandate for Palestine. The conditions of the Mandate were to be based on the terms set forth in the Balfour Declaration, with the exception that the Declaration would not apply to the area of Transjordan.

World War I and after

During World War I the great powers made a number of decisions concerning the future of Palestine without much regard to the wishes of the indigenous inhabitants. Palestinian Arabs, however, believed that Great Britain had promised them independence in the Ḥusayn-McMahon correspondence, an exchange of letters from July 1915 to March 1916 between Sir Henry McMahon, British high commissioner in Egypt, and Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, then emir of Mecca, in which the British made certain commitments to the Arabs in return for their support against the Ottomans during the war. Yet by May 1916 Great Britain, France, and Russia had reached an agreement (the Sykes-Picot Agreement) according to which, inter alia, the bulk of Palestine was to be internationalized. Further complicating the situation, in November 1917 Arthur Balfour, the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, addressed a letter to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild (the Balfour Declaration) expressing sympathy for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people on the understanding that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” This declaration did not come about through an act of generosity or stirrings of conscience over the bitter fate of the Jewish people. It was meant, in part, to prompt American Jews to exercise their influence in moving the United States to support British postwar policies as well as to encourage Russian Jews to keep their nation fighting.

Palestine was hard-hit by the war. In addition to the destruction caused by the fighting, the population was devastated by famine, epidemics, and Ottoman punitive measures against Arab nationalists. Major battles took place at Gaza before Jerusalem was captured by British and Allied forces under the command of General Sir Edmund (later 1st Viscount) Allenby in December 1917. The remaining area was occupied by the British by October 1918.

At the war’s end, the future of Palestine was problematic. Great Britain, which had set up a military administration in Palestine after capturing Jerusalem, was faced with the problem of having to secure international sanction for the continued occupation of the country in a manner consistent with its ambiguous, seemingly conflicting wartime commitments. On March 20, 1920, delegates from Palestine attended a general Syrian congress at Damascus, which passed a resolution rejecting the Balfour Declaration and elected Fayṣal I—son of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, who ruled the Hejaz—king of a united Syria (including Palestine). This resolution echoed one passed earlier in Jerusalem, in February 1919, by the first Palestinian Arab conference of Muslim-Christian associations, which had been founded by leading Palestinian Arab notables to oppose Zionist activities. In April 1920, however, at a peace conference held in San Remo, Italy, the Allies divided the former territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire. Of the Ottoman provinces in the Syrian region, the northern portion (Syria and Lebanon) was mandated to France, and the southern portion (Palestine) was mandated to Great Britain. By July 1920 the French had forced Fayṣal to give up his newly founded kingdom of Syria. The hope of founding an Arab Palestine within a federated Syrian state collapsed and with it any prospect of independence. Palestinian Arabs spoke of 1920 as ʿām al-nakbah, the “year of catastrophe.”

Uncertainty over the disposition of Palestine affected all its inhabitants and increased political tensions. In April 1920 anti-Zionist riots broke out in the Jewish quarter of Old Jerusalem, killing several and injuring scores. British authorities attributed the riots to Arab disappointment at not having the promises of independence fulfilled and to fears, played on by some Muslim and Christian leaders, of a massive influx of Jews. Following the confirmation of the mandate at San Remo, the British replaced the military administration with a civilian administration in July 1920, and Sir Herbert (later Viscount) Samuel, a Zionist, was appointed the first high commissioner. The new administration proceeded to implement the Balfour Declaration, announcing in August a quota of 16,500 Jewish immigrants for the first year.

In December 1920, Palestinian Arabs at a congress in Haifa established an executive committee (known as the Arab Executive) to act as the representative of the Arabs. It was never formally recognized by the British and was dissolved in 1934. However, the platform of the Haifa congress, which set out the position that Palestine was an autonomous Arab entity and totally rejected any rights of the Jews to Palestine, remained the basic policy of the Palestinian Arabs until 1948. The arrival of more than 18,000 Jewish immigrants between 1919 and 1921 and land purchases in 1921 by the Jewish National Fund (established in 1901), which led to the eviction of Arab peasants (fellahin), further aroused Arab opposition that was expressed throughout the region through the Christian-Muslim associations. On May 1, 1921, more serious anti-Zionist riots broke out in Jaffa, spreading to Petaḥ Tiqwa and other Jewish communities, in which nearly 100 were killed. An Arab delegation of notables visited London in August–November 1921, demanding that the Balfour Declaration be repudiated and proposing the creation of a national government with a parliament democratically elected by the country’s Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Alarmed by the extent of Arab opposition, the British government issued a White Paper in June 1922 declaring that Great Britain did “not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded in Palestine.” Immigration would not exceed the economic absorptive capacity of the country, and steps would be taken to set up a legislative council. These proposals were rejected by the Arabs, both because they constituted a large majority of the total mandate population and therefore wished to dominate the instruments of government and rapidly gain independence and because, they argued, the proposals allowed Jewish immigration, which had a political objective, to be regulated by an economic criterion.

Palestine British Mandate - History

1917 – 1947: British mandate

Palestine was among former Ottoman territories placed under UK administration by the League of Nations in 1922. All of these territories eventually became fully independent States, except Palestine, where in addition to “the rendering of administrative assistance and advice” the British Mandate incorporated the “Balfour Declaration” of 1917, expressing support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. During the Mandate, from 1922 to 1947, large-scale Jewish immigration, mainly from Eastern Europe took place, the numbers swelling in the 1930s with the Nazi persecution. Arab demands for independence and resistance to immigration led to a rebellion in 1937, followed by continuing terrorism and violence from both sides. UK considered various formulas to bring independence to a land ravaged by violence. In 1947, the UK turned the Palestine problem over to the UN. Read more.

1947 – 1977: Partition plan, 1948, 1967, 1973 wars, inalienable rights

After looking at alternatives, the UN proposed terminating the Mandate and partitioning Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized (Resolution 181 (II) of 1947). One of the two envisaged States proclaimed its independence as Israel and in the 1948 war involving neighbouring Arab States expanded to 77 percent of the territory of mandate Palestine, including the larger part of Jerusalem. Over half of the Palestinian Arab population fled or were expelled. Jordan and Egypt controlled the rest of the territory assigned by resolution 181 to the Arab State. In the 1967 war, Israel occupied these territories (Gaza Strip and the West Bank) including East Jerusalem, which was subsequently annexed by Israel. The war brought about a second exodus of Palestinians, estimated at half a million. The Security Council in resolution 242 formulated the principles of a just and lasting peace, including an Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the conflict, a just settlement of the refugee problem, and the termination of all claims or states of belligerency. The 1973 hostilities were followed by Security Council resolution 338, which inter alia called for peace negotiations between the parties concerned. In 1974 the General Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence, sovereignty, and to return. The following year, the General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and conferred on the PLO the status of observer in the Assembly and in UN conferences. Read more.

Palestine Partition Map Majority Proposal

A sketch map of the plan on partition of Palestine, with economic union, proposed by the majority of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. The plan envisages the division of Palestine into 3 parts: a Jewish state, an Arab State (dark tint), and the City of Jerusalem (white), to be placed under an International Trusteeship system. 1947, United Nations (Lake Success), New York. UN Photo.

War Destruction in Palestine

A deserted Arab village in the Negev. [1948]. UN Photo.

Palestinian Refugees Crossing Frontiers

Arab refugees from Palestine waiting for transportation in Lebanon. [1948]. UN Photo.

Middle East Populations Uprooted by Israel/Arab Conflict

Some of the many thousands of Arab refugees making the difficult crossing of King Hussein Bridge (formerly Allenby Bridge) from the Israeli-occupied west bank of the Jordan River into Jordan. 1967. UN Photo.

1977 – 1990: Lebanon, ICQP, Intifada

In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon with the declared intention to eliminate the PLO. A cease-fire was arranged. PLO troops withdrew from Beirut and were transferred to neighboring countries. Despite the guarantees of safety for Palestine refugees left behind a large-scale massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila camps. In September 1983, the International Conference on the Question of Palestine (ICQP) adopted the following principles: the need to oppose Israeli settlements and Israeli actions to change the status of Jerusalem, the right of all States in the region to existence within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, and the attainment of the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In 1987, a mass uprising against the Israeli occupation began in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (the intifada). Methods used by the Israeli forces resulted in mass injuries and heavy loss of life among the civilian Palestinian population. In 1988 the Palestine National Council meeting in Algiers proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. Read more here and here.

Security Council Demands Cease-Fire Observance by All Parties in Lebanon

The Security Council demanded Israel withdraw its forces “forthwith and unconditionally” from Lebanon up to its internationally recognized boundaries. 06 June 1982. United Nations, New York. UN Photo.

Secretary-General Meets with Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organization

Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, meets with Yasser Arafat, Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organization, in Geneva. 27 June 1988. UN Photo.

The Peace Process of the 1990s

A Peace Conference was convened in Madrid in 1991, with the aim of achieving a peaceful settlement through direct negotiations along 2 tracks: between Israel and the Arab States, and between Israel and the Palestinians, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The multilateral track negotiations were to focus on region-wide issues such as the environment, arms control, refugees, water, and the economy. A series of subsequent negotiations culminated in the mutual recognition between the Government of Israel and the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, and the signing in 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (DOP or “Oslo Accord”), as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, which led to the partial withdrawal of Israeli forces, the elections to the Palestinian Council and the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority, the partial release of prisoners and the establishment of a functioning administration in the areas under Palestinian self-rule. The involvement of the UN has been essential both as the guardian of international legitimacy and in the mobilization and provision of international assistance. The 1993 DOP deferred certain issues to subsequent permanent status negotiations, which were held in 2000 at Camp David and in 2001 in Taba, but proved inconclusive. Read more.

Members of Security Council Vote on Palestine’s Participation

The members of the Security Council vote in favour of permitting the observer for Palestine to participate in the Council’s discussion on the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. 05 October 1990. UN Photo.

2000-present: Second intifada, separation wall, Road Map, etc.

The visit by Ariel Sharon of the Likud to Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem in 2000 was followed by the second intifada. Israel began the construction of a West Bank separation wall, located mostly within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice. In 2002, the Security Council affirmed a vision of two States, Israel and Palestine. In 2002 the Arab League adopted the Arab Peace Initiative. In 2003, the Quartet (US, EU, Russia, and the UN) released a Road Map to a two-State solution. An unofficial Geneva peace accord was promulgated by prominent Israelis and Palestinians in 2003. In 2005, Israel withdrew its settlers and troops from Gaza while retaining control over its borders, seashore and airspace. Following Palestinian legislative elections of 2006, the Quartet conditioned assistance to the PA on its commitment to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. After an armed takeover of Gaza by Hamas in 2007, Israel imposed a blockade. The Annapolis process of 2007-2008 failed to yield a permanent status agreement. Escalating rocket fire and air strikes in late 2008 culminated in Israeli ground operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza. The UN Security Council adopted resolution 1860. Violations of international law during the Gaza conflict were investigated by the UN (“Goldstone report“). The 2009 PA programme to build State institutions received wide international support. A new round of negotiations in 2010 broke down following the expiration of the Israeli settlement moratorium. In 2011 President Mahmoud Abbas submitted the application of Palestine for membership in the UN. UNESCO admitted Palestine as a Member. Exploratory Israeli-Palestinian talks were held in early 2012 in Amman. In November another cycle of violence between Israel and Gaza concluded with an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire. On 29 November 2012 Palestine was granted non-member observer State status in the UN. The General Assembly proclaimed 2014 an International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. A new round of negotiations begun in 2013 was suspended by Israel in April 2014 following the announcement of a Palestinian national consensus Government. Another round of fighting between Israel and Gaza took place in July-August 2014. In 2016 the Security Council adopted resolution 2334 on settlements.

Press Conference Following the Quartet Meeting

Left to right: Javier Solana, High representative for the European Common Foreign and Security Policy, Igor S. Ivanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State of the United States of America, at press conference. 26 September 2003. United Nations, New York. UN Photo.

Assembly Grants Palestine Non-member Observer State Status

The General Assembly adopted a resolution granting to Palestine the status of non-member observer State in the United Nations. The vote was 138 for, 9 against, with 41 abstentions. Mahmoud Abbas (front centre), President of the Palestinian Authority, with his delegation in the General Assembly Hall following the Assembly’s decision. 29 November 2012. United Nations, New York. UN Photo.

The myths of British imperial benevolence and Palestine

Israel’s violence in Gaza is not merely self-defence but part of a longer story of settler colonialism dating from the heyday of European colonialism.

Last month, as Israeli artillery destroyed buildings in Gaza, one of two slivers of territory into which Palestinians have been squeezed over the last century, the British government was once again asserting the benevolence of its imperial past against those demanding a reckoning with its harms. #BritishEmpire trended on Twitter even as Gaza burned.

These phenomena are connected: the persistent whitewashing of British imperial history ensures that condemnations of Israel’s actions as “settler colonialism” fail to resonate morally in many quarters. Far from tainting Israel’s origins, the country’s British antecedents are held up as validating. The British government’s Balfour Declaration proclaiming support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” in 1917 is mythologised as having laid the foundation for a Jewish state in the Middle East and thus providing international legitimacy for the creation of the state of Israel. Awareness of the morally dubious origins and meaning of this declaration might help puncture the entangled myths of British imperial benevolence and Israel’s benign presence in Palestine.

The Balfour Declaration was one of several strategic “promises” the British made during the first world war concerning the territories of the Ottoman Empire, as the British busily dismembered it in the name of protecting the route to India and the oil-rich Gulf. To get the region’s Arab population on their side, they promised the Sharifian rulers of the Hejaz, in the Arabian Peninsula, an independent kingdom stretching through Palestine to Damascus. At the same time, in secret negotiations with the French and the Russians to divide the region, they promised to make Palestine an international territory. When Russia withdrew from the war in October 1917, they saw an urgent need to secure the British position in the Middle East with a fresh promise, this time to the Zionist movement. Palestine thus became a thrice-promised land – reason enough to doubt the sacredness of any one of the promises.

The new promise was officially authored by the British foreign secretary, leading Conservative Arthur James Balfour. Known as “Bloody Balfour” for his suppression of Irish demands for greater independence as chief secretary for Ireland, Balfour was a determined imperialist. He was also an amateur philosopher suspicious of reason and drawn to the occult – and the notion of the occult power of certain groups. The idea that a promise to the Zionists would secure the Middle East for them emerged partly out of his anti-Semitic assumption, which was shared by other influential British politicians, that Jews controlled public opinion and global finances. Balfour calculated that his propaganda statement would rally American and German Jewish opinion to the Allied cause, while also ending the flow of unwanted Eastern European Jews into Britain.

The declaration was in line with the type of British settler colonialism that shaped the history of violent dispossession in Kenya and other colonies. That the British thought Palestine was something they could promise to any group without consulting its population was typical imperial presumption. The difference here was that Jewish rather than British settlers would take on the “civilising mission”- and act as a loyal presence near the Suez Canal. The declaration implied Jews were racially and culturally superior to Palestine’s indigenous population, even as it implied that Jews did not properly belong in Europe and possessed conspiratorial powers.

Not everyone in the British government shared these views. The secretary of state for India, Edwin Montagu, was Jewish and considered the declaration highly anti-Semitic. “Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine,” he feared. He insisted that the members of his family had no necessary “community of view” with Jewish families elsewhere: “It is no more true to say that a Christian Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation.” Montagu feared that the declaration would mean that “Jews should be put in all positions of preference” in Palestine, and that Muslims and Christians would be made to “make way for the Jews”. He foresaw: “When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants.”

Montagu was just then formulating the Montagu Declaration, promising Indians greater self-government to secure their wartime loyalty. Conservatives, especially Balfour, baulked at this concession to anti-colonialism, arguing that Indians were incapable of such self-government. That’s the kind of imperialist Balfour was.

After the war, the British reneged on all wartime promises about the Middle East: They first betrayed the arrangements with the French by letting the Sharifian Prince Faisal set up a government in Damascus, but then let the French push Faisal out, in exchange for a free hand in oil-rich Mosul. Faisal was instead crowned king of Iraq under British rule – despite wartime promises of independence to Iraqis. Britain took direct control of Palestine (no international territory) – confirming that the Balfour Declaration’s ambiguous promise about a national home implied nothing about Jewish political control. In 1921, Britain also carved Jordan out of Palestine without any sense of having violated the Jewish national home. A White Paper of 1930 backed away from the very idea of a Jewish national home. A Zionist outcry forced the British government to withdraw the paper.

As Hitler rose to power, hundreds of thousands of desperate European Jews who found doors closed in Britain and the US arrived in Palestine. Increasingly landless and impoverished, Palestinians revolted in 1936. The British drew on brutal, terrorising, and destructive counterinsurgency methods developed in Ireland and Iraq, which shaped the practices of the Israeli military later.

The British changed policy in 1937 and 1939, by turns favouring the Jews and the Arabs. It was in the course of advising Palestine policy that Winston Churchill uttered his eugenicist defence of settler colonialism in general in 1937: “I do not admit…that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia…by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race…has come in and taken their place.” He saw Jewish settlement of Palestine as analogous to these earlier cases, including their genocidal implication.

At this time, Hitler was also looking to the genocide of Native Americans as a model for his conception of Lebensraum and began to apply the violent logic of settler colonialism in Europe itself. Churchill admired Hitler, devoting a chapter to him in his 1937 book on Great Contemporaries. Though Britons today celebrate Churchill for defeating Nazism, they have still not unambiguously condemned the settler-colonial ideology on which Nazism was founded.

Apologists for British imperialism instead pour their energies into defending Cecil Rhodes, another promoter of settler colonialism, even after a careful commission has recommended the removal of his statue at Oriel College in Oxford. Rhodes contended: “We are the finest race in the world and…the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.” His private company killed tens of thousands of the Matabele in founding the settler colony of Rhodesia. As prime minister of the Cape Colony, he also established the foundations of South African apartheid – to which the current Israeli regime is often compared – depriving non-white people of the vote and claiming their land. Even his British contemporaries were outraged by his actions.

Recently, after former US senator Rick Santorum claimed on CNN that settlers created the US “from nothing,…there was nothing here”, erasing not only the existence of Native American cultures and life but also the memory of massive settler violence against them, CNN parted ways with him, responding to intense pressure from the public, including the Native American Journalists Association.

Major British news outlets such as The Times, however, continue to allot generous space to apologists for settler colonialism. Last month, the Guardian formally regretted its support for the Balfour Declaration in 1917, when its editor wrote: “The existing Arab population of Palestine is…at a low stage of civilisation.” It is time for wider, unequivocal condemnation of its false promise and of the settler-colonial ideology on which it was based.

British wartime promises were not founded on principle but made for the sake of expedience and grounded in racist notions – hardly ground for the sacred. Moreover, the declaration included self-negating language assuring that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” Balfour’s Conservatism was all about avoiding radical change. The declaration was framed vaguely so that it might be broken, like the wartime promises to the Sharifians. There is little in its origins in expedience, colonial presumption, and anti-Semitism to give it the aura of legitimacy – much less sacredness – that it has in some quarters today.

The British launched settler colonialism in Palestine as carelessly and recklessly as they had in Australia and New Zealand and in Kenya and Rhodesia. Israel’s violence in Gaza is not merely self-defence but part of a longer story of settler colonialism dating from the heyday of European colonialism. Contrary to British myths, settler colonialism was an aggressive process of ethnic cleansing grounded in racism. The US’s support of Israeli encroachment into Palestinian territory is the support of one British-made settler-colonial nation to another. It is no coincidence that that support became especially generous during the Trump administration, which was also unapologetically proud of white supremacy in North America. Reckoning with the history of colonialism is essential to reckoning with colonialism itself.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

British Palestine Mandate: Text of the Mandate

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non­Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country and

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine and

Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in the following terms and submitted to the Council of the League for approval and

Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions and

Whereas by the afore­mentioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory, not having been previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League Of Nations confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:

ARTICLE 1. The Mandatory shall have full powers of legislation and of administration, save as they may be limited by the terms of this mandate.

ARTICLE 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self­governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

ARTICLE 3. The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.

ARTICLE 4. An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co­operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration to assist and take part in the development of the country.

The Zionist organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the co­operation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.

ARTICLE 5. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.

ARTICLE 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co­operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

ARTICLE 7. The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.

ARTICLE 8. The privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed by Capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, shall not be applicable in Palestine.

Unless the Powers whose nationals enjoyed the afore­mentioned privileges and immunities on August 1st, 1914, shall have previously renounced the right to their re­establishment, or shall have agreed to their non­application for a specified period, these privileges and immunities shall, at the expiration of the mandate, be immediately reestablished in their entirety or with such modifications as may have been agreed upon between the Powers concerned.

ARTICLE 9. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial system established in Palestine shall assure to foreigners, as well as to natives, a complete guarantee of their rights.

Respect for the personal status of the various peoples and communities and for their religious interests shall be fully guaranteed. In particular, the control and administration of Wakfs shall be exercised in accordance with religious law and the dispositions of the founders.

ARTICLE 10. Pending the making of special extradition agreements relating to Palestine, the extradition treaties in force between the Mandatory and other foreign Powers shall apply to Palestine.

ARTICLE 11. The Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the interests of the community in connection with the development of the country, and, subject to any international obligations accepted by the Mandatory, shall have full power to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country or of the public works, services and utilities established or to be established therein. It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land.

The Administration may arrange with the Jewish agency mentioned in Article 4 to construct or operate, upon fair and equitable terms, any public works, services and utilities, and to develop any of the natural resources of the country, in so far as these matters are not directly undertaken by the Administration. Any such arrangements shall provide that no profits distributed by such agency, directly or indirectly, shall exceed a reasonable rate of interest on the capital, and any further profits shall be utilised by it for the benefit of the country in a manner approved by the Administration.

ARTICLE 12. The Mandatory shall be entrusted with the control of the foreign relations of Palestine and the right to issue exequaturs to consuls appointed by foreign Powers. He shall also be entitled to afford diplomatic and consular protection to citizens of Palestine when outside its territorial limits.

ARTICLE 13. All responsibility in connection with the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory, who shall be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable with the Administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this article into effect and provided also that nothing in this mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.

ARTICLE 14. A special commission shall be appointed by the Mandatory to study, define and determine the rights and claims in connection with the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. The method of nomination, the composition and the functions of this Commission shall be submitted to the Council of the League for its approval, and the Commission shall not be appointed or enter upon its functions without the approval of the Council.

ARTICLE 15. The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.

The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.

ARTICLE 16. The Mandatory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision over religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths in Palestine as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government. Subject to such supervision, no measures shall be taken in Palestine to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of such bodies or to discriminate against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.

ARTICLE 17. The Administration of Palestine may organist on a voluntary basis the forces necessary for the preservation of peace and order, and also for the defence of the country, subject, however, to the supervision of the Mandatory, but shall not use them for purposes other than those above specified save with the consent of the Mandatory. Except for such purposes, no military, naval or air forces shall be raised or maintained by the Administration of Palestine.

Nothing in this article shall preclude the Administration of Palestine from contributing to the cost of the maintenance of the forces of the Mandatory in Palestine.

The Mandatory shall be entitled at all times to use the roads, railways and ports of Palestine for the movement of armed forces and the carriage of fuel and supplies.

ARTICLE 18. The Mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in Palestine against the nationals of any State Member of the League of Nations (including companies incorporated under its laws) as compared with those of the Mandatory or of any foreign State in matters concerning taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, or in the treatment of merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Similarly, there shall be no discrimination in Palestine against goods originating in or destined for any of the said States, and there shall be freedom of transit under equitable conditions across the mandated area.

Subject as aforesaid and to the other provisions of this mandate, the Administration of Palestine may, on the advice of the Mandatory, impose such taxes and customs duties as it may consider necessary, and take such steps as it may think best to promote the development of the natural resources of the country and to safeguard the interests of the population. It may also, on the advice of the Mandatory, conclude a special customs agreement with any State the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia.

ARTICLE 19. The Mandatory shall adhere on behalf of the Administration of Palestine to any general international conventions already existing, or which may be concluded hereafter with the approval of the League of Nations, respecting the slave traffic, the traffic in arms and ammunition, or the traffic in drugs, or relating to commercial equality, freedom of transit and navigation, aerial navigation and postal, telegraphic and wireless communication or literary, artistic or industrial property.

ARTICLE 20. The Mandatory shall co­operate on behalf of the Administration of Palestine, so far as religious, social and other conditions may permit, in the execution of any common policy adopted by the League of Nations for preventing and combating disease, including diseases of plants and animals.

ARTICLE 21. The Mandatory shall secure the enactment within twelve months from this date, and shall ensure the execution of a Law of Antiquities based on the following rules. This law shall ensure equality of treatment in the matter of excavations and archaeological research to the nationals of all States Members of the League of Nations.

(1) "Antiquity" means any construction or any product of human activity earlier than the year 1700 A. D.

(2) The law for the protection of antiquities shall proceed by encouragement rather than by threat.

Any person who, having discovered an antiquity without being furnished with the authorization referred to in paragraph 5, reports the same to an official of the competent Department, shall be rewarded according to the value of the discovery.

(3) No antiquity may be disposed of except to the competent Department, unless this Department renounces the acquisition of any such antiquity.

No antiquity may leave the country without an export licence from the said Department.

(4) Any person who maliciously or negligently destroys or damages an antiquity shall be liable to a penalty to be fixed.

(5) No clearing of ground or digging with the object of finding antiquities shall be permitted, under penalty of fine, except to persons authorised by the competent Department.

(6) Equitable terms shall be fixed for expropriation, temporary or permanent, of lands which might be of historical or archaeological interest.

(7) Authorization to excavate shall only be granted to persons who show sufficient guarantees of archaeological experience. The Administration of Palestine shall not, in granting these authorizations, act in such a way as to exclude scholars of any nation without good grounds.

(8) The proceeds of excavations may be divided between the excavator and the competent Department in a proportion fixed by that Department. If division seems impossible for scientific reasons, the excavator shall receive a fair indemnity in lieu of a part of the find.

ARTICLE 22. English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or inscription in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic.

ARTICLE 23. The Administration of Palestine shall recognise the holy days of the respective communities in Palestine as legal days of rest for the members of such communities.

ARTICLE 24. The Mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations an annual report to the satisfaction of the Council as to the measures taken during the year to carry out the provisions of the mandate. Copies of all laws and regulations promulgated or issued during the year shall be communicated with the report.

ARTICLE 25. In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18.

ARTICLE 26. The Mandatory agrees that, if any dispute whatever should arise between the Mandatory and another member of the League of Nations relating to the interpretation or the application of the provisions of the mandate, such dispute, if it cannot be settled by negotiation, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice provided for by Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

ARTICLE 27. The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.

ARTICLE 28. In the event of the termination of the mandate hereby conferred upon the Mandatory, the Council of the League of Nations shall make such arrangements as may be deemed necessary for safeguarding in perpetuity, under guarantee of the League, the rights secured by Articles 13 and 14, and shall use its influence for securing, under the guarantee of the League, that the Government of Palestine will fully honour the financial obligations legitimately incurred by the Administration of Palestine during the period of the mandate, including the rights of public servants to pensions or gratuities.

The present instrument shall be deposited in original in the archives of the League of Nations and certified copies shall be forwarded by the Secretary­General of the League of Nations to all members of the League.

Done at London the twenty­fourth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and twenty­two.


The main terrorist groups were Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organisation) - ultimately led by future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin - and an even more militant organisation, Lohamey Heruth Israel (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) or LHI.

The British called LHI the Stern Gang after its leader, Abraham Stern, who was killed in a clash with the Palestine Police in 1942. In November 1944, LHI assassinated the British Minister for the Middle East, Lord Moyne.

Timeline of British Rule in Palestine (1918-1947)

Treaty of Versailles formally ends Word War I. Out of an estimated 1.5 million Jewish soldiers in all the armies, approximately 170,000 were killed and over 100,000 cited for valor.

Damascus taken by T.E. Lawrence and Arabs.

American Jewish Congress is founded.

Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates.

Nahum Zemach founds the Moscow-based Habimah Theater which receives acclaim for &ldquoThe Dybbuk.&rdquo

The German Workers' Party (DAP) is founded in Munich Adolf Hitler joins the Party nine months later.

Jewish educational summer camping is launched in the United States with what came to be known as the Cejwin Camps.=

Versailles Peace Conference decides that the conquered Arab provinces will not be restored to Ottoman rule.

First Palestinian National Congress meeting in Jerusalem sends two memoranda to Versailles rejecting Balfour Declaration and demanding independence.

Romania grants citizenship to Jews.

Chaim Weizmann heads Zionist delegation at Versailles Peace Conference.

Emir Faisel wrote a letter to Felix Frankfurter supporting Zionism, &ldquoWe Arabs. wish the Jews a most hearty welcome.&rdquo

League of Nations established in an effort to prevent further wars.

Histadrut (Jewish labor federation) and Haganah (Jewish defense organization) founded.

Vaad Leumi (National Council) set up by Jewish community (The Yishuv)to conduct its affairs.

Keren Hayesod created for education, absorbtion and the development of rural settlements in Eretz-Israel.

Fall of Tel Hai to Arab attackers Joseph Trumpeldor and five men under his command killed.

Mandate for the Land of Israel given over to Britain on the condition that the Balfour Declaration be implemented, San Remo Conference.

British statesman Sir Herbert Samuel is appointed High Commissioner of Palestine.

Henry Ford's newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, begins publishing its anti-Semitic propaganda, including the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The first mass meeting of the National Socialist Party (NSDAP) takes place at Munich's Hofbräuhaus.

Adolf Hitler is honorably discharged from the German Army.

The San Remo Conference awards administration of the former Turkish territories of Syria and Lebanon to France, and Palestine, Transjordan, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) to Britain.

Second and third Palestinan National Congress' held.

The Times of London pronounces the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a forgery.

U.S. immigration laws &ldquoreformed&rdquo to effectively exclude Eastern European Jews and other immigrants. Further restrictions imposed in 1924.

Fourth Palestinian National Congress convenes in Jerusalem, decides to send delegation to London to explain case against Balfour.

The Allied Reparations Committee assesses German liability for World War I at 132 billion gold marks (about $31 billion).

The NSDAP, also known as the Nazi Party, establishes the Sturmabteilung (SA Storm Troopers Brown Shirts).

Arab riots occur in Jaffa and other cities.

Völkischer Beobachter (People's Observer), the official National Socialist newspaper, begins publication.

Adolf Hitler becomes the Nazi Party's first chairman with dictatorial powers.

Kingdom of Iraq is established.

First moshav, Nahalal, founded in the Jezreel Valley.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Rabbi Ya'akov Meir are elected the first two chief Rabbis of Eretz-Israel.

Famous Hungarian Jewish poet and paratrooper who fought in WWII, Hannah Szenes (Senesh).

Britain granted Mandate for Palestine (Land of Israel) by League of Nations.

Transjordan set up on three-fourths of the British mandate area, forbidding Jewish immigration, leaving one-fourth for the Jewish national home.

Jewish Agency representing Jewish community vis-à-vis Mandate authorities set up.

Mordecai M. Kaplan founds the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, the cradle of the Reconstructionist movement.

The United States Congress and President Harding approve the Balfour Declaration.

Supreme Muslim Council created under the jurisdiction of the British government to centralize religious affairs and institutions, but is corrupted by the overzealous Husseini family who used it as an anti-Jewish platform.

Benito Mussolini establishes a Fascist government in Italy.

Harvard's president proposes a quota on the number of Jews admitted. After a contentious debate, he withdrew the recommendation.

League of Nations Council approves Mandate for Palestine.

First British census of Palestine shows total population 757,182 (11% Jewish).

Fifth Palestinian National Congress in Nablus, agrees to economic boycott of Zionists.

Jungsturm Adolf Hitler (Adolf Hitler Boys Storm Troop) and Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler (Shock Troop Adolf Hitler) are established. The latter will form the nucleus of the Schutzstaffel (SS).

Walther Rathenau, Jewish foreign minister of Germany, is assassinated by members of Organisation Consul, a clandestine, right-wing political organization led by Captain Hermann Ehrhardt.

France and Belgium occupy the Ruhr after an economically broken Germany is unable to meet the annual installment of its war-reparations payments designed to pay off Germany's $31 billion war debt.

The Schutzstaffel (SS Protection Squad) is established. It is initially a bodyguard for Hitler but will later become an elite armed guard of the Third Reich.

Palestine constitution suspended by British because of Arab refusal to cooperate.

Overthrow of Ottoman Muslim rule by &ldquoyoung Turks&rdquo (Kemal Ataturk) and establishment of secular state.

Sixth Palestinian national Congress held in Jaffa.

The first issue of the pro-Nazi, antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer (The Attacker) is published in Nuremberg, Germany. Its slogan is "Die Juden sind unser Unglück" ("The Jews are our misfortune"), a phrase picked up from Heinrich von Treitschke.

Hitler's so-called &ldquoBeer Hall Putsch&rdquo takeover attempt at Munich fails, temporarily rattling the National Socialist Party and leading to Hitler's arrest in Bavaria, Germany.

Technion, first institute of technology, founded in Haifa.

Benjamin Frankel starts Hillel Foundation. The first Hillel House opens at the University of Illinois, offers religious and social services.

The first conference of the General Zionist movement is held in Jerusalem.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews found an agricultural settlement between Ramat Gan and Petah Tikva: Bnei- Brak.

The United States Congress passes the Immigration Restriction Act, which effectively bans immigration to the U.S. from Asia and Eastern Europe.

While in prison, Hitler begins work on Mein Kampf.

Pahlevi dynasty in Persia (&ldquoIran&rdquo: 1935).

Edna Ferber is the first American Jew to win Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

Palestinian National Congress meets in Jaffa.

Publication of the pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer resumes after being banned by the Weimar government in November 1923.

Paul von Hindenburg is elected president of Germany.

France proclaims Republic of Lebanon.

Warner Brothers produces drama of Jewish assimilation, "The Jazz Singer," the first film with sound.

Britain recognizes independence of Transjordan.

Seventh Palestinian National Congress convened in Jerusalem established a new forty-eight member executive committee.

Yeshiva College is dedicated in New York.

2,000 Arabs attack Jews praying at the Kotel on the 9th of Av. Arabs view British refusal to condemn the attacks as support.

Anne Frank, Holocaust victim whose diary, written during the Nazi Occupation became famous.

Hope-Simpson report, predecessor to Passfield White Paper, recommends and end to all Jewish immigration to Eretz-Israel.

Lord Passfield issues his White Paper banning further land acquisition by Jews and slowing Jewish immigration.

Salo Wittmayer Baron joins the faculty of Columbia University, his is the first chair in Jewish history at a secular university in the United States.

Etzel (the Irgun), Jewish underground organization, founded.

Second British census of Palestine shows total population of 1,035,154 (16.9% Jewish).

The Nahum Zemach-founded Moscow-based Habimah Theater which received acclaim for "The Dybbuk" moves to Eretz-Israel.

'Abd al-Aziz Al Saud proclaims the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

British Mandate over Iraq terminated, Iraq gains independence.

Discovery of oil in Bahrain.

First Maccabia athletic games take place with representatives from 14 countries.

German Chancellor von Papen persuaded President von Hindenburg to offer Hitler the chancellorship.

Formation of Istiqlal Party as first constituted Palestinian-Arab political party Awni Abdul-Hadi elected president.

Concession agreement signed between Saudi government and Standard Oil of California (SOCAL). Prospecting begins. SOCAL assigns concession to California Arabian Standard Oil Co. (CASOC).

The American Jewish Congress declares a boycott on German goods to protest the Nazi persecution of Jews.

Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.

Germany begins anti-Jewish boycott.

Cardinal Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII, signed the Hitler Concordat whereby the Vatican accepted National Socialism.

Albert Einstein, upon visiting the United States, learns that Hitler had been elected and decided not to return to Germany, takes up position at Princeton.

Riots in Jaffa and Jerusalem to protest British "pro-Zionist" policies.

In Afghanistan, two thousand Jews are expelled from towns and forced to live in the wilderness.

American Jews cheer Detroit Tigers' Hank Greenberg when he refuses to play ball on Yom Kippur. In 1938, with five games left to the season, Greenberg's 58 home runs are two shy of Babe Ruth's record. When several pitchers walk him rather than giving him a shot at the record, many believe major league baseball did not want a Jew to claim that place in America's national sport.

Jewish rights in Germany rescinded by Nuremberg laws.

Hakibbutz Hadati, the religious kibbutz movement is founded.

Regina Jonas was ordained by Liberal (Reform) Rabbi Max Dienemann in Germany, becoming the first woman rabbi.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky founds the New Zionist Organization.

Official establishment of the Palestine Arab Party in Jerusalem Jamal al-Husseini elected president.

Anti-Jewish riots instigated by Arab militants.

Supported by the Axis powers, the Arab Higher Committee encourages raids on Jewish communities in Eretz-Israel.

Leon Blum becomes the first Jew elected premier of France, enacts many social reforms.

The first of the Tower and Stockade Settlements (Tel Amel) Nir David is erected.

Syria ratifies the Franco-Syrian treaty France grants Syria and Lebanon independence.

World Jewish Congress convened in Geneva.

Peel Commission investigated Arab riots, concluded Arab claims were "baseless".

British declare Arab Higher Committee in Palestine illegal and Mufti of Jerusalem escapes to Syria.

The Peel Commission recommends the partition of Palestine between Jews and Arabs.

Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion accept partition plan, despite fierce opposition at the 20th Zionist Congress.

John Woodhead declares partition unworkable after Arab riots.

Central conference of American Rabbis reaffirm basic reform philosophies in the Colombus Platform.

Kristallnacht &mdash German Jewish synagogues burned down.

Charles E. Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest, launches media campaign in America against Jews.

The Dominican Republic is the only country out of 32 at the Evian Conference willing to help Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany.

Chamberlain declares "peace in our time" after allowing Hitler to annex the Sudetenland in the Munich Agreement.

Catholic churches ring bells and fly Nazi flags to welcom Hitler's troops in Austria.

Hershel Grynszpan, 17, a German refugee, assassinates Ernst von Rath, the third secretary to the German embassy in Paris.

More than 100,000 Jews march in an anti-Hitler parade in New York's Madison Square Garden.

President Roosevelt appoints Zionist and Jewish activist Felix Frankfurter to the Supreme Court.

Jewish immigration severely limited by British White Paper.

S.S. St. Louis, carrying 907 Jewish refugees from Germany, is turned back by Cuba and the United States.

Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin introduces his song "God Bless America." He also wrote "White Christmas".

British government authorizes the Jewish Agency to recruit 10,000 Jews to form Jewish units in the British army.

British refuse illegal immigrant ship, the Patria, permission to dock in Palestine.

British and France guarantee Syrian independence.

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise publicizes Riegner report confirming mass murder of European Jews.

Nazi leaders refine the "Final Solution" -- genocide of the Jewish people -- at Wannsee Conference.

Palmach parachutes into enemy lines in Europe.

British deport illegal immigrants to Cyprus.

Raphael Lemkin, an international lawyer who escaped from Poland to the U.S. in 1941, coins the term genocide to describe the Nazi extermination of European Jews.

Zionist Biltmore Conference, held at Biltmore Hotel in New York, formulates new policy of creating a "Jewish Commonwealth" in Palestine and organizing a Jewish army.

Jewish Brigade formed as part of British forces.

FDR establishes War Refugee Board. For most victims of Nazism, it comes too late.

Camp for Jewish war refugees is opened at Oswego, New York.

Bess Myerson becomes the first Jewish woman to win the Miss America Pageant.

Covenant of League of Arab States, emphasizing Arab character of Palestine, signed in Cairo by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan, and Yemen.

President Truman asks Britain to allow 100,000 Jews into Palestine.

Arab League Council decides to boycott goods produced by Zionist firms in Palestine.

Two convicted members of the Stern Gang hanged for Murder of Lord Moyne in Cairo prison.

Member of Jewish underground destroyed a power station and a portion of the Central Jerusalem prison by explosives. Two persons were killed by the police..

Jewish underground members launched an attack against the British-controlled Givat Olga Coast Guard Station located between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Ten persons were injured and one was killed. Captured papers indicated that the purpose of this raid was to take revenge on the British for their seizure of the refugee ship on January 18. British military authorities in Jerusalem questioned 3,000 Jews and held 148 in custody..

Jewish underground attacked a British military installation near Tel Aviv. This group which contained a number of young girls, had as its goal the capture of British weapons. British authorities rounded up 1,200 suspects..

The Irgun radio "Fighting Zion" wams that three kidnapped British officers are held as hostages for two Irgun members, Josef Simkohn and Issac Ashbel facing execution as well as 31 Irgun members facing trial..

Thirty Irgun members are sentenced by a British military court to 15 years in prison. One, Benjamin Kaplan, was sentenced to life for carrying a firearm..

British military units and police raided Jewish settlements throughout Palestine searching for the leaders of Haganah. The Jewish Agency for Palestine was occupied and four top official arrested. .

British officials announced the discovery of a large arms dump hidden underground at Meshek Yagur. 2659 men and 59 women were detained fo the three day operation in which 27 settlements were searched. Four were killed and 80 were injured..

Palestine High Commissioner, Lt. General Sir Alan Cunningham commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences of Josef Simkhon and lssac Ashbel, Irgun members.

Tel Aviv. British officers, Captains K Spencer, C. Warburton and A. Taylor who had been kidnapped by Irgun on June 18 and held as hostages for the lives of Simkohn and Ashbel, were released in Tel Aviv unharmed. At this time, Irgun issued a declaration of war against the British claiming that they had no alternative but to fight. .

The west wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem which housed British Military Headquarters and other governmental offices was destroyed at 12:57 PM by explosives planted in the cellar by members of the Irgun terrorist gang. By the 26 of July, the casualties were 76 persons killed, 46 injured and 29 still missing in the rubble. The dead included many British, Arabs and Jews. .

London. The British government released a White Paper that accuses the Haganah, Irgun and Stern gangs of "a planned movement of sabotage and violence" under the direction of the Jewish Agency and asserts that the June 29 arrest of Zionist leaders was the cause of the bombing.

The British Palestine Commander, Lt. General Sir Evelyn Barker, banned fraternization by British troops with Palestine Jews whom he stated "cannot be absolved of responsibility for terroristic acts." The order states that this will punish "the race . . . by striking at their pockets and showing our contempt for them." .

Police in Tel Aviv raided a workshop making bombs..

Tel Aviv is placed under a 22hour-a-day curfew as 20,000 British troops began a house-to-house sweep for members of the Jewish underground. The city is sealed off and troops are ordered to shoot to kill any curfew violators.

A large cache of weapons, extensive counterfeiting equipment and $1,000,000 in counterfeit Government bonds were discovered in Tel Aviv's largest synagogue. Also, two ships have arrived at Haifa with a total of 3,200 illegal Jewish immigrants. .

British military authorities ended the curfew in Tel Aviv after detaining 500 persons for further questioning..

The British Government announced that it will allow no more unscheduled immigration into Palestine and that those seeking entry into that country will be sent to Cyprus and other areas under detention. Declaring that such immigration threatens a civil war with the Arab population, it charges a "minority of Zionist extremists" with attempting to force an unacceptable solution of the Palestine problem..

Two ships carrying a total of 1,300 Jewish refugees arrived at Haifa. The port area was isolated on August 11 by British military and naval units. The first deportation ship sailed for Cyprus with 500 Jews on board.

Three Jews were killed and seven wounded when British troops were compelled to fire on a crowd of about 1,000 persons trying to break into the port area of Haifa. Two Royal Navy ships with 1,300 illegal Jewish immigrants on board sailed for Cyprus. Another ship with 600 illegal immigrants was captured and confined in the Haifa harbor. .

British military units searched the coastal villages of Casera and Sadoth Yarn for three Jews who bombed the transport "Empire Rival" last week. Eighty-five persons, including the entire male population of one of the villages were sent to the Rafa detention center..

Jerusalem. the British Government announced the commutation to life imprisonment of the death sentences imposed on 18 Jewish youths convicted of bombing the Haifa railroad shops..

British military units discovered arms and munitions dumps in the Jewish farming villages of Dorot and Ruhama.

Jewish underground members cut the Palestine railroad in 50 places..

Tel Aviv. two British officers were killed in an explosion in a public building..

British troops imposed a curfew and arrested 101 Jews and wounded two in a search for saboteurs in Tel Aviv and neighboring Ramat Gan. Irgun took the action against the railways on September 8, as a protest..

Jewish underground members robbed three banks in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, killing three Arabs. Thirty-six Jews were arrested..

Jewish underground attacks a police station on the coast near Tel Aviv but were driven off by gunfire. .

British military units and police seized 50 Jews in a Tel Aviv cafe after a Jewish home was blown up. This home belonged to a Jewish woman who had refused to pay extortion money to the Irgun. .

An R.A.F member is killed by gunfire in Jerusalem

Two British soldiers are killed when their truck detonated a kind mine outside Jerusalem. A leading Arab figure was wounded in a similar mine explosion in Jerusalem and more mines were found near Government House.

The British Embassy in Rome was damaged by a bomb, believed to have been placed by Jewish underground members. Irgun took responsibility for the bombing on November 4..

Two Jews and two Arabs are killed in clashes between Arabs and a group of Jews attempting to establish a settlement at Lake Hula in northern Palestine.

British authorities released the following eight Jewish Agency leaders from the Latrun concentration camp where they had been held since June 29: Moshe Shertok, Dr. Issac Greenbaum, Dr. Bernard Joseph, David Remiz, David Hacohen, David Shingarevsky, Joseph Shoffman and Mordecai Shatter. A total of 2,550 Haganah suspects have been released as well as 779 Jews arrested in the wake of the King David bombing.

Railroad traffic was suspended hr 24 hours throughout Palestine following a fourth Irgun attack on railway facilities in two days.

Nineteen persons, eleven British soldiers and policemen and eight Arab constables, were killed in Palestine during this period as Jewish underground members, using land mines and suitcase bombs, increased their attacks on railroad stations, trains and even streetcars.

London. The Board of Deputies of British Jews condemned Jewish underground groups who threatened to export their attacks to England.

Police in Tel Aviv attacked Jews, assaulting many and firing into houses. Twenty Jews were injured in fights with British troops following the death on November 17 of three policemen and an RAF sergeant in a land mine explosion.

Five persons were injured when a bomb exploded in the Jerusalem tax office.

Ten persons, including six British soldiers, were killed in bomb and landmine explosions.

A member of the Stern Gang was killed in an aborted hold-up attempt.

Armed Jewish underground members raided two diamond factories in Nathanya and Tel Aviv and escaped with nearly $107,000 in diamonds, monies and bonds. These raids signaled an end to a two-week truce during the World Zionist Congress.

Dov Gruner was sentenced to hang by a British military court for taking part in a raid on the Ramat Gan police headquarters in April of 1946. .

Jewish underground staged bombings and machine gun attacks in five cities. Casualties were low. Pamphlets seized warned that the Irgun had again declared war against the British.

Jerusalem. British soldiers have been ordered to wear sidearms at all times and were forbidden to enter any cafe or restaurant.

Eleven British troops were injured in a hand grenade attack on a train carrying troops to Palestine. The attack took place near Benha, 25 miles from Cairo..

British police arrested 32 persons suspected of being members of the Irgun's "Black Squad" in raids on Rishomel Zion and Rehoboth.

One underground member drove a truck filled with high explosives into the central police station and exploded it, killing two British policemen and two Arab constables and injuring 140 others, and escaped. This action ended a 10-day lull in the violence and the Stern Gang took the credit for it.

Yehudi Katz is sentenced to life in prison by a Jerusalem court for robbing a bank in Jaffa in September of 1946 to obtain funds for the underground.

Sir Harry Gumey, Chief Secretary, stated that the British administration was taxing Palestine $2,400,000 to pay for sabotage by the Jewish underground groups. .

Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones informed the House of Commons 73 British subjects were murdered by underground members in 1946 and "no culprits have been convicted."

London. Britain's conference on Palestine, boycotted by the Jews, reconvened. Jamal el Husseini, Palestine Arab leader, declared that the Arab world was unalterably opposed to partition as a solution to the problem. The session then adjourned.

London. It was officially announced that the British Cabinet decided to partition Palestine.

Irgun forces released former Maj. H. Collins, a British banker, who they kidnaped on January 26 from his home. He had been badly beaten. On January 28, the Irgun released Judge Ralph Windham, who had been kidnapped in Tel Aviv on January 27 while trying a case. These men had been taken as hostages for Dov Bela Gruner, an Irgun member under death sentence. The British High Commissioner, Lt. Gen. Sir Alan Cunningham, had threatened martial law unless the two men were returned unharmed.

General Cunningham ordered the wives and children of all British civilians to leave Palestine at once. About 2,000 are involved. This order did not apply to the 5,000 Americans in the country.

The Palestine Govemment issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Jewish Agency demanding that it state "categorically and at once" whether it and the supreme Jewish Council in Palestine will call on the Jewish community by February 10 for "cooperation with the police and armed forces in bringing to justice the members of the terrorist groups." This request was publicly rejected by Mrs. Goldie Meyerson, head of the Jewish Agency's political department.

British District Commissioner James Pollock disclosed a plan for military occupation of three sectors of Jerusalem and orders nearly 1,000 Jews to evacuate the Rehavia, Schneler and German quarters by noon, February 6.

The Vaad Leumi rejected the British ultimatum while the Irgun passed out leaflets that it was prepared to fight to the death against the British authority.

The first 700 of some 1,500 British women and children ordered to evacuate Palestine leave by plane and train for Egypt. British authorities, preparing for military action, order other families from sections of Tel Aviv and Haifa which will be turned into fortified military areas.

British troops removed 650 illegal Jewish immigranS from the schooner "Negev" at Haifa and after a struggle forced them aboard the ferry "Emperor Haywood" for deportation to Cyprus.

The British administration revealed that Lt. Gen. Sir Evelyn Barker, retiring British commander in Palestine, had confirmed the death sentences of three Irgun members on February 12 before leaving for England. The three men, Dov Ben Rosenbaum, Eliezer Ben Kashani and Mordecai Ben Alhachi, had been sentenced on February 10 to be hanged for carrying firearms. A fourth, Haim Gorovetzky, received a life sentence because of his youth. Lt. Gen. G. MacMillian arrived in Jerusalem on February 13 to succeed Gen. Barker.

The Sabbath was the setting for sporadic outbreaks of violence which included the murder of an Arab in Jaffa and of a Jew in B'nai B'rak, the kidnapping of a Jew in Petah Tikvah and the burning of a Jewish club in Haifa.

Hadera. A British army camp was attacked.

Haifa. A Jew, suspected of being an informer, was murdered by Jewish underground members.

The British Army pay corps was dynamited in Jerusalem and one soldier killed.

British military units captured most of the 800 Jews whose motor ship "Susanne" ran the British blockade and was beached north of Gaza on this date. A British naval escort brought the "Ben Hecht," the Hebrew Committee of National Liberation's first known immigrant ship, into Haifa, and its 599 passengers were shipped to Cyprus. The British arrested the crew, which included 18 US. seamen..

British authorities announced 78 arrests as a result of unofficial Jewish cooperation, but two railroads were attacked, resulting in two deaths, and eight armed men robbed a Tel Aviv bank of $65,000. .

Jewish underground members blew up part of an oil pipeline in Haifa and a section of the rail line near Beer Yakou .

British authorities ended marshal law which had kept 300,000 Jews under house arrest for 16 days and tied up most economic activity..

A military court sentenced Moshe Barazani to be hanged for possessing a hand grenade. .

Underground leaflets admitted the murder of Michael Shnell on Mount Carmel as an informer. .

British officials announced the arrest of five known underground members, and the discovery near Petah Tikvah of the body of Leon Meshiah, a Jew presumably slain as a suspected informer. .

The Irgun blew up the Iraq Petroleum Co. pipeline in Haifa..

A British army officer was killed by Jewish underground membesr when they ambushed a party of horsemen near the Ramle camp. A raid on a Tel Aviv bank yielded $109,000.

Units of the British Royal Navy, answering an SOS, took the disabled " Moledeth" with 1,600 illegal Jewish refugees on board under tow some 50 miles outside Palestinian waters.

Jewish underground members dynamited the British-owned Shell-Mex oil tanks in Haifa, starting a fire that destroyed a quarter-mile of the waterfront. The damage was set at more than $1,000,000, and the British government in Palestine has stated that the Jewish community will have to pay for it.

The "Ocean Vigour" was damaged by a bomb in Famagusta Harbor, Cyprus. The Haganah admitted the bombing.

A court in Jerusalem sentenced Daniel Azulai and Meyer Feinstein, members of the Irgun, to death for the October 30 attack on the Jerusalem railroad station. The Palestine Supreme Court admitted an appeal of Dov Bela Gruner's death sentence.

The transport "Empire Rival" was damaged by a time bomb while en route from Haifa to Port Said in Egypt. .

The High Court denied a new appeal against the death sentence of Dov Bela Gruner, and a British patrol killed Moshe Cohen.

Jewish undergroud members killed a British constable in revenge for the Cohen death.

London. The British Government requested France and Italy to prevent Jews from embarking for Palestine.

Jerusalem. Asher Eskovitch, a Jew, was beaten to death by Muslims when he entered the forbidden Mosque of Omar.

Guela Cohen, Stern Gang illegal broadcaster, escaped from a British military hospital.

A British naval unit boarded the refugee ship "Guardian" and seized it along with 2,700 passengers after a gun battle in which two immigrants were killed and 14 wounded.

In spite of threats of reprisal from the Irgun, the British hanged Dov Bela Gruner and three other Irgun members at Acre Prison on Haifa Bay. Jewish communities were kept under strict curfew for several hours. Soon after the deaths were announced, a time bomb was found in the Colonial Office in London but was defused.

Lt. Gen. G. Macmillan confirmed death sentences for two more convicted underground members, Meier Ben Feinstein and Moshe Ben Barazani, but reduced Daniel Azulai's sentence to life imprisonment.

Irgun's reprisals for the Gruner execution were an attack on a field dressing station near Nethanaya where one sentry was killed, an attack on an armored car in Tel Aviv where one bystander was killed and harmless shots at British troops in Haifa.

A series of bombings by Jewish underground members in retaliation for the hanging of Gruner injured 12 British soldiers.

Meir Feinstein and Moshe Barazani killed themselves in prison a few hours before they were scheduled to be hanged. They blew themselves up with bombs smuggled to them in hollowed-out oranges.

A troop train arriving from Cairo was bombed outside Rehovoth with five soldiers and three civilians killed and 39 persons injured.

The British First Lord of the Admiralty, Viscount Hall, defended the Labor Government's policy in Palestine and he acknowledged in the House of Lords that Britain would not "carry out a policy of which it did not approve" despite any UN action. He blamed contributions from American Jews to the Jewish Palestinians as aiding the underground groups there and cited the toll since August 1, 1945: 113 killed, 249 wounded, 168 Jews convicted, 28 sentenced to death, four executed, 33 slain in battles. Viscount Samuel urged increased immigration.

The Irgun proclaimed its own "military courts" to "try" British troops and policemen who resisted them.

A Stern Gang squad drove a stolen post office truck loaded with explosives into the Sarona police compound and detonated it, killing five British policemen.

Haifa. The murder of Deputy Police Superintendent A. Conquest climaxed a week of bloodshed.

The walls of Acre prison were blasted open by an Irgun bomb squad and 251 Jewish and Arab prisoners escaped after a gun battle in which 15 Jews and 1 Arab were killed, 32 (including six British guards) were injured and 23 escapists were recaptured. The Palestine Government promised no extra punishment if the 189 escapees still at large will surrender.

The Political Action Committee for Palestine ran a series of advertisements in New York newspapers seeking funds to buy parachutes for young European Jews planning to crash the Palestine immigration barrier by air.

A Jew was ambushed and shot to death by an Arab group near Tel Aviv, and three Jewish-owned Tel Aviv shops whose owners refused to contribute money to Jewish underground groups were burned down.

Jewish underground members killed two British policemen.

The British authorities announced that 312 Jewish political prisoners were held in Kenya, East Africa, 20 in Latrun and 34 in Bethlehem.

The Stern Gang killed two British lieutenants and injured seven other persons with two derailments and three badge demolitions.

Haifa Assistant Police Superintendent, Robert Schindler, a German Jew, was killed by the Stern gang, and a British constable was killed on the Mt Carmel-Haifa road near Jerusalem.

The 1,200 ton Haganah freighter "Trade Winds" was seized by the Royal Navy off the Lebanon coast and escorted into Haifa, and over 1,000 illegal immigrants were disembarked pending transfer to Cyprus.

The British government protested to the United States government against American fund-raising drives for Jewish underground groups. The complaint referred to a "Letter to the Terrorists of Palestine" by playwright Ben Hecht, American League for a Free Palestine co chairman, first published in the New York "Post" on May 15. The ad said, "We are out to raise millions for you.".

Arabs attacked a Jewish labor camp in the south, retaliating for a Haganah raid on the Arabs near Tel Aviv May 20. Some 40,000 Arab and Jewish workers united the same day in a one day strike against all establishments operated by the British War Ministry..

A British naval party boarded the immigrant ship "Mordei Haghettoath" off South Palestine and took control of its 1,500 passengers. Two British soldiers were convicted in Jerusalem of abandoning a jeep and army mail under attack.

Syria. Fawzi el-Kawukji who spent the war years in Germany after leading the 1936-39 Arab revolt in Palestine, told reporters in Damascus that an unfavorable decision by the UN inquiry group would be the signal for war against the Jews in Palestine. "We must prove that in case" of an Anglo-American war with Russia, "we can be more dangerous or useful to them than the Jews," he added.

Jewish underground members blew up a water main and a shed in the Haifa oil dock areas and made three attacks on railway lines in the Lydda and Haifa areas.

The Haganah ship "Yehuda Halevy" arrived under British naval escort with 399 illegal Jewish immigrants they were immediately transferred to Cyprus.

The Stern Gang sent letter bombs to high British governmental officials. Eight letter bombs containing powdered explosives were discovered in London. Recipients included Ernest Bevin, Anthony Eden, Prime Minister Attlee and Winston Churchill.

Washington. President Truman asked all persons in the US to refrain from helping Jewish underground groups. The American Jewish Committee and Jewish Labor Committee condemned Ben Hecht's campaign.

New York Secretary General of the UN, Trygve Lie has forwarded a request to all countries a request by the British that they guard their fronties against departure of illegal immigrants bound for Palestine.

Haganah disclosed that one of its men was killed by a booby trap which foiled an Irgun plot to blow up British Military Headquartes in Tel Aviv.

The Stern Gang opened fire on British soldiers waiting in line outside a Tel Aviv theater, killing three and wounding two. Another Briton is killed and several wounded in a Haifa hotel. This action was claimed by Jewish underground members to be in retaliation for British brutality and the alleged slaying of a missing 16 year old Jew, Alexander Rubowitz while he was being held in an Army barracks on May 6.

New York. The UN Committee votes 9-0 to condemn the acts as "flagrant disregard" of the UN appeal for an interim truce as Stern Gang wounded four more Bdtish soldiers on a beach at Herzlia. Major Roy Alexander Farran surrendered voluntarily after his escape from custody in Jerusalem on June 19. He had been arrested in connection with the Rubowitz case.

The Palestine goverrunent permitted oil companies to raise paces of benzine nearly 10% to pay for $1 million damage suffered when Jewish underground members blew up oil installations at Haifa on March 31.

lrgun members robbed a Haifa bank of $3,200 while both the Stem gang and the Irgun warned the British that their provocative acts in Palestine must end before a truce can be effected. The Guaternalan and Czech members of the UN Commission visited two Jewish convicts in Acre Prison.

Dr. Adem Altman, president of the United Zionist Revisionists, told a party rally in Jerusalem that the Revisionists would settle for nothing less than an unpartitioned free Jewish state in Palestine and Trans-Jordan. Irgun announced in Jerusalem that two British sergeants kidnaped in Nathanaya are being held in Tel Aviv and have been sentenced to death by Irgun courtmartial.

Netanya. The British imposed mastial law and placed the 15,000 inhabitants of Netanya under house arrest. They made 68 arrests and sentenced 21 persons to 6 months each in the Latrun detention camp.

Netanya. The Irgun in five mine operations against military traffic to and from Nathanya killed one Briton and injured 16.

Steamer Exodus repelled by forces from shores of Palestine, (formerly the "President Warfield") was escorted into Haifa by British naval units after a battle, William Bernstein and two immigrants were killed and more than 30 injured.

The blockade runner itself was badly damaged. The remainder of the 4,554 passengers, the largest group of illegal immigrants to sail for Palestine in a sister ship, were put aboard British prison ships for removal to Cyprus. The American captain, Bernard Marks, and his crew were arrested. The ship sailed from France.

Haifa. Rioting, quickly suppressed, broke out among the passengers of the "Exodus 1947" when they learned they were to be resumed to France.

The Palestine Government charges that a Jewish "campaign of lawlessness, murder and sabotage" has cost 70 lives and $6 million in damage since 1940.

Before officially admitting that 4,529 passengers of the "Exodus 1947" who had been transferred to three British ships, were being sent not to Cyprus but back to France, the Palestine Government took the precaution of first placing Jesusalem's 90,000 Jews under nightly house arrest.

Haganah sank the British transport "Empire Lifeguard" in Haifa harbor as it was discharging 300 Jewish immigrants who had officially been admitted to Palestine under quota. Sixty-five immigrants were killed and 40 were wounded. The British were able to refloat the ship.

Jewish underground members blew up the Iraqi Petroleum Co. pipeline 12 miles east of Haifa and destroyed a Mt. Carmel radar station.

An ambush and mines cost the British seven more casualties, all wounded.

Two small Haganah ships loaded with 1,174 Jews from North Africa were intercepted by British naval units off Palestine and brought into Haifa. The illegal immigrants were transshipped aboard British transports and taken to Cyprus.

The British authorities hanged three Irgunists in Acre prison despite appeals from Jewish leaders. The condemned, Myer Nakar, Absalom Habib and Jacob Weiss, had fought in the Czech underground during the war. They were convicted of blowing up Acre Prison on May 4 and liberating 200 Arabs and Jews.

The 4,429 Exodus 1947 illegal immigrants who sailed from Sete, France, July 11 for Palestine only to be shipped back by the British aboard three transports, refused to debark as the vessels anchored off Port de Douc, France. Only a few who were aboard went ashore. The French government informed the refugees that they do not have to debark but will be welcomed if they do. The transports are the "Runnymede Park," "Ocean Vigour" and "Empire Valour.".

Irgun members announced that they have handed two British sergeants, Marvyn Paice and Clifford Martin, whom they had held as hostages since duly 12, for "crimes against the Jewish community." The two were seized when death sentences on the three Irgun members were confirmed by the British authorities. Two more British soldiers were killed by a land mine near Hadera. British troops attacked the Jewish colony of Pardes Hanna in revenge for the murders.

The bodies of the two murdered Bdtish sergeants were found hanging from eucalyptus trees one and a half miles from Netanya about 5:30 AM. A booby trap blew Martin's body to bits when it was cut down. Enraged British troops stormed into Tel Aviv, wrecked shops, attacked pedestrians and sprayed a bus with gunfire killing five Jews: two men, two women and a boy.

Thirty-three Jews are injured in an anti-British riot at Tel Aviv during the funeral procession of five civilians killed by British soldiers on July 31. In Jerusalem a Jewish underground attack on the British security zone in Rehavia was repulsed with one attacker killed and two captured.

The body of an unidentified Jew was found on a road near Tel Aviv. He was believed to have been kidnapped by men in British uniforms two weeks ago. Total casualties in Palestine since mid-July: 25 persons slain, 144 wounded. The dead include 15 Britons, two Jewish underground membmers, eight civilians. Anti-British slogans, swastikas and dollar signs are painted onto British consulates in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The Bank of Sharon in Ramat Gan was robbed by Jewish underground, $8,000 stolen.

An Irgun leader in Paris states that his organization has sentenced high British military and civilian officials in Palestine to death "in absentia" and will hang them upon capture.

Striking at dawn, British security forces arrested 35 leading Zionists and sent them to the Latrun detention camp in an attempt to wipe out the Irgun leadership.In reprisal, Irgunists blew up the Department of Labor in Jerusalem, killing three British constables. Those arrested included Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv Mayor Oved Ben Ami of Nathanya Mayor Abraham Kdnitzki of Ramat Gan Adeh Altman, president of the radical Revisionist Party Menahem Arber, leader of the Revisionist youth organization, B'rith Trumpeldor, which is outlawed Max Kritzman, Dov Bela Gruner's attomey, and David Stem, brother of the late founder of the Stern Gang. All those arrested except the three mayors were Revisionists. Among many papers confiscated was correspondence from Soviet Russian agents in Italy and Bulgaria and extensive plans to poison the water supply of the non-Jewish parts of Jerusalem with botulism and other bacteria. Bacteria was supplied by Soviet sources through Bulgaria.

A mine derailed a Cairo-Haifa troop train north of Lydda, killing the engineer, and Irgunist claimed the incident was part of its campaign to disrupt all the Palestine rail traffic.

Arab-Jewish clashes have brought death to 12 Arabs and 13 Jews and heavy property destruction this week in the regions of Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa. Strife was renewed on august 10 when Arabs killed four Jews in a Tel Aviv cafe, in reprisal for the deaths of two Arabs in a Haganah raid in Fega two months ago. Haganah responded to the Arab actions by bombing a house in an Arab orange grove near Tel Aviv, killing eleven Arabs, including a woman and four children.

The shops of five Jewish merchants in Tel Aviv were destroyed by the Irgun because the owners refused to give money to that organization.

Hamburg, Germany. In a bitter three hour fight aboard the "Runnymede Park," 350 British troops completed a two-day forced debarkation of 4,300 "Exodus 1947" illegal Jewish refugees from three ships in Hamburg, Germany. First ashore yesterday were the "Ocean Vigour's" 1,406 a few put up token resistance and five passengers sustained minor injuries. Early today, the "Empire Rival's" 1,420 passengers debarked peaceably after a home made bomb was found in the ship's hold.

Washington D.C. Secretary of State George C. Marshall disclosed that the US had urged Britain to reconsider sending the "Exodus" group to Germany, but Britain replied tht there were no facilities for housing them elsewhere because the French did not want them and there were a number of vacant detention camps in Germany.

Paris. The French government has now announced tht it would admit the '`Exodus" refugees if they were not forcibly deported from Germany and on the understanding that they will be admitted eventually to Palestine.

A terrorist bomb damaged the US. consulate general in Jerusalem, injuring two employees slightly. Similar bombings occurred at the Polish consulate general last night and at the Swedish consulate on September 27.

Jewish underground members killed two British policemen in Jerusalem and two soldiers in Tel Aviv to raise the total casualties in three days of violence to 10 Britons and five Jews killed, and 33 Britons and five Jews wounded. The outbreaks began after British troops killed three girls and two boys in a raid on a farmhouse arsenal near Raanana on November 12. The underground retaliated yesterday by throwing hand grenades and firing a machine gun into the Ritz Cafe in Jerusalem.

About 185 European Jews landed near Netanya from a small schooner and escaped before the British could intercept them. A larger vessel, the "Kadimah," was seized and brought to Haifa where 794 Jews were transshipped to a British transport for Cyprus.

The British administration disclosed that it will sell state owned real estate along the Haifa waterfront, from which it expects to make $8 million. It will also invest in England about $16 million from bonds that had been sold to Palestinians. Zionists strongly protested this as they said it would denude Palestine of its assets. There was no comment from the administration to these charges.

An Arab was killed in Haifa by the Stern Gang following the killings of four other Arabs near Raanana on November 20.

The Arab League announced on December 1 that premiers and foreign ministers of seven Arab states would meet in Cairo next week to plan strategy against partition. In Palestine: Jerusalem and the Jaffa Tel Aviv boundary zone were centers of week-long strife which began when seven Jews were killed throughout Palestine on November 30 and the mayor of Nablus, Arab nationalist center, proclaimed jihad or a holy war. British High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham warned the Arab Higher Command on December 1 that Britain was determined to keep order so long as it held its mandate, and police stopped Arab agitators from raising crowds in Jerusalem.

Arabs looted and burned a three block Jewish business district in Jerusalem on December 2, the first day of a three day Arab general strike during which 20 Jews and 15 Arabs were killed. When British troops failed to intervene, Haganah came into the open for the first time in eight years to restrain large scale Jewish retaliation and also guard Jewish districts. Some Haganah men were arrested for possessing weapons. The day's strife caused $1 million worth of damage and resulted in a 21 hour curfew being applied to Arab Jerusalem for the rest of the week. The curfew was extended to outlying roads on December 3 to stop stonings of Jewish traffic and keep rural Arabs out of the capital. Max Pinn, head of the Jewish Agency's Trade and Transfer Deparunent was killed on December 2 when Arabs stoned his auto near Ramleh On this day dews stoned Arab buses in Jerusalem. On December 2, Haganah claimed to have mobilized 10,000 men in the intercity trouble zone, and the Arab Legion of Trans-Jordan reported on this date that it had reinforced Jaffa. Seven Jews were killed in Jaffa-Tel Aviv on this date. There were lesser attacks in Haifa this week. Also, the Syrian Parliament enacted a draft law and voted $860,000 for the relief of Palestinian Arabs. On the same day Arabs attacked the Jewish part of Aleppo.

On the Jaffa-Tel Aviv boundary, which also is under around-the clock curfew, the week's heaviest battle was a six-hour clash between Haganah and Arabs on December 3 in which seven Jews and five Arabs were killed and 75 persons injured.

The United States Department of State announced on December 5,1947 that they were placing an embargo on all American arms shipments to the Middle East. On December 5, British military reinforcements were sent to Aden after four days of Arab-Jewish fighting in which 50 Jews and 25 Arabs were killed.

On December 13, bombings by the Irgun killed at least 16 Arabs and injured 67 more in Jerusalem and Jaffa and burned down a hundred Arab houses in Jaffa. In Syria, an anti-Jewish attack in rebaliation for the Irgun actions burned down a 2,750-year old synagogue in Aleppo and destroyed the priceless Ben-Asher Codex, a 10th century Hebrew Bible of original Old Testament manuscripts.

Regular troops of the Arab Legion of the Trans-Jordan Army killed 14 Jews and wounded nine Jews, two British soldiers and one Arab when they atbcked a bus convoy approaching their camp near Lydda. The Arabs said the Jews attacked them first.

British troops came to the aid of police sending off a raid by 100 Arabs on the Jewish settlement of Nevatim, seven miles west of Beersheba.

Haganah killed 10 Arabs in a reprisal raid on Khisas in the north of the country.

Reliable reports from Damascus state that Arab guerrillas are massing there in preparation to launching an attack into Palestine before the first of the year.

Haganah carried out another said on Arabs by atbcking the village of Qazasa near Rehovoth. One Arab was killed and two were wounded.

Emir Mohammed Zeinati, an Arab landowner, was killed in Haifa for selling land to the Jews. Stern gang members machine-gunned two British soldiers in a Tel Aviv cafe.

Armed Jewish underground members raided two diamond factories in Netanya and Tel Aviv and escaped with $107,000 in diamonds, cash and bonds. The Stern gang distributed leaflets reporting that Israel Levin, a member, was killed in Tel Aviv on December 24 for trying to betray a Stern Gang member.

Irgun members kidnaped and flogged a Briitish major and these sergeants in retaliation for the flogging of Benjamin Kimkhim who was also sentenced to 18 years in prison on December 27 for robbing a bank. The major, E. Brett, was seized in Netanya and the sergeants in Tel Aviv and Rishon el Siyon. Each got 18 lashes, the same number Kimkhim received. An Irgun bombing at the Damascus Gate in Jesusalem killed 11 Arabs and two Britons.

The Dollis Hill Synagogue in London was set on fire and 12 sacred scrolls were destroyed by angry British citizens.

Arab Higher Committee for Palestine rejects UN Partition Plan.

Three Jews are hanged for involvement in Acre Prison break and two British sergeants are executed in reprisal.

Scrolls dating from approximately 22 B.C.E. are discovered at Qumran, near the Dead Sea.

A series of bombings inflicted heavy Arab casualties.14 were killed and 100 injured when the Stern gang destroyed the Arab National Committee headquarters in Jaffa.

Jerusalem. 15 Arabs were killed after Haganah bombed the Semirarnis Hotel.

14 Arabs were killed by two Irgun bombs at Jerusalem's Jaffa gate.

Stem gang members looted Barclay's Bank in Tel Aviv of $37,000.

The U.S. War Assets Administration received orders from Army Secretary Kenneth Royal to cancel its sale of 199 tons of M-3 explosive to a purchasing agent of the Jewish Agency, which got 73 tons out of the country before the rest was seized

The FBI arrested six New York men on charges of trying to ship Haganah 60,000 pounds of TNT, which was seized in Jersey Gty after having been bought from the Letterkenny Arsenal Ordnance Depot in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Following the deaths of ten Jews and two Arabs killed in a battle outside Jerusalem, British authorities stated that 721 Arabs, 408 Jews, 19 civilians and 12 British policemen (a total of 1,160) had been killed in an eight-week period that 1,171 Arabs, 749 Jews, 13 civilians and 37 British officers had been wounded.

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  • 70 - 500 - Rabbinic Jewish Period of Talmud Development
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    - 4500 B.C.E.-Present

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The Palestinian Arabs During the Interwar Period

As late as 1882, the Arab population of Palestine barely reached 260,000. Yet by 1914 this number had doubled, and by 1920 it had reached 600,000. Under the mandate, the figure grew even more dramatically, climbing to 840,000 by 1931, and representing 81 percent of the country&rsquos inhabitants.

Approximately 75,000 of the Palestine Arabs were Christian, heavily impacted­ [that is, tightly packed] in the urban areas, comparatively literate, and widely employed at the middle and lower echelons of the mandatory administration. The Muslim A­rabs &mdash the majority &mdash were [much less economically and institutionally developed]. Fully 70 percent of them lived on the soil, mainly in the hilly northern and central regions of the country, where they raised grains, vegetables, olive oil, and tobacco.

A 1922 census revealed that a third of the Arab farmers were fellahin &mdash tenant sharecroppers &mdash whose average plot rarely exceeded 100 dunams (25 acres). Endlessly indebted to their landlords, to whom they paid a rent of from 33 to 50 percent of their crops, they lived with their families of five or more children in mud‑brick huts, possessed virtually no sanitary facilities, and suffered chronically from amoebic dysentery and bilharziasis.

Submarginal as these conditions were, they were immeasurably better than those of Muslim Arabs elsewhere in the Middle East. The statistics of Arab population growth were revealing: In Palestine, the increase between ­1922 and 1946 was 118 percent, a rate of almost 5 percent annually, and the highest in the Arab world except for Egypt. It was not all natural increase. During those 24 years, approximately 100,000 Arabs entered the country from neighboring lands. The influx could be traced in some measure to the orderly government provided by the British, but far more, certainly, to the economic opportunities made possible by Jewish settlement.

The rise of the Yishuv benefited Arab life indirectly, by dispro­portionate Jewish contributions to government revenues, and thereby to increased mandatory expenditures in the Arab sector and directly, by new markets for Arab produce and (until the civil war of 1936) employment opportunities for Arab labor. It was significant, for example, that the movement of Arabs within Palestine itself was largely to regions of Jewish concentration. Thus, Arab population increase during the 1930s was 87 percent in Haifa, 61 percent in Jaffa, 37 percent in Jerusalem. A similar growth was registered in Arab towns located near Jewish agricultural villages. The 25 percent rise of Arab participation in industry could be traced exclusively to the needs of the large Jewish immigration.

Under the Turks, Arab political life had been rudimentary and had consisted largely of maneuvers for civil office among rival effendi families [&ldquoeffendi&rdquo is a Turkish title of respect, used most commonly for government officials or members of the aristocracy]. No organized nationalist movement whatever came into being until after the Armistice, when Muslim‑Christian Associations were founded in various Arab towns to protest the impending Jewish National Home. This opposition, too, was at first essentially a projection of Syrian nationalism. It followed the lead of Arab politicians in Damascus during the unsuccessful 1919� effort to establish an independent Syrian kingdom.

Accordingly, the collapse of Feisal&rsquos regime in the summer of 1920 and the transfer of nationalist headquarters from Damascus to Jerusa­lem played a critical role in the development of an authentic Palestine Arab nationalism. It did not escape the Arab leadership, especially those who formerly had devoted their energies to the Hashemite cause in Syria, that the Zionists, as a minority settlement, were surely more vulnerable to concerted resistance than were the French or British.

In December 1920, therefore, the Muslim‑Christian Associations spon­sored a convention in Haifa, a gathering that subsequently transformed itself into a Palestine Arab Congress. Here at last the demand was expressly submitted that Britain institute a national &mdash that is, Arab &mdash government in Palestine. The Congress afterward proceeded to elect an Arab Executive, a body that from 1921 on implacably opposed the British mandate and the Jewish National Home.

While the Executive&rsquos hostility to Zionism was rooted at least partly in suspicion of Jewish free labor and collective agriculture­, and the ideas these innovations might plant in the minds of the fellahin, it reflected more basically a fear of the political consequences of Jewish immigration. Centuries of exile in Europe clearly had westernized Jews and enabled them to far exceed the Arab community in their intel­lectual and technological accomplishments. The Arab leaders were genu­inely alarmed by the influx of these &ldquooverbearing and truculent&rdquo newcomers, and warned that the European Jews, with apparently limitless energy and financial backing, would someday engulf the whole of Palestine.

Palestine British Mandate - History



Mandatory Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين‎‎ Filasṭīn Hebrew: פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י)‎ Pālēśtīnā (EY), where "EY" indicates "Eretz Yisrael", Land of Israel) was a geopolitical entity under British administration, carved out of Ottoman Southern Syria after World War I. British civil administration in Palestine operated from 1920 until 1948. During its existence the territory was known simply as Palestine, but, in later years, a variety of other names and descriptors have been used, including Mandatory or Mandate Palestine, the British Mandate of Palestine and British Palestine.

During the First World War (1914–18), an Arab uprising and the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force under General Edmund Allenby drove the Turks out of the Levant during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. The United Kingdom had agreed in the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence that it would honour Arab independence if they revolted against the Ottomans, but the two sides had different interpretations of this agreement, and in the end the UK and France divided up the area under the Sykes–Picot Agreement—an act of betrayal in the eyes of the Arabs. Further confusing the issue was the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promising British support for a Jewish "national home" in Palestine. At the war's end the British and French set up a joint "Occupied Enemy Territory Administration" in what had been Ottoman Syria. The British achieved legitimacy for their continued control by obtaining a mandate from the League of Nations in June 1922. The formal objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, "until such time as they are able to stand alone." The civil Mandate administration was formalized with the League of Nations' consent in 1923 under the British Mandate for Palestine, which covered two administrative areas. The land west of the Jordan River, known as Palestine, was under direct British administration until 1948. The land east of the Jordan, a semi-autonomous region known as Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from the Hijaz, gained independence in 1946.

The divergent tendencies regarding the nature and purpose of the mandate are visible already in the discussions concerning the name for this new entity. According to the Minutes of the Ninth Session of the League of Nations' Permanent Mandate Commission:

Colonel Symes explained that the country was described as "Palestine" by Europeans and as "Falestin" by the Arabs. The Hebrew name for the country was the designation "Land of Israel", and the Government, to meet Jewish wishes, had agreed that the word "Palestine" in Hebrew characters should be followed in all official documents by the initials which stood for that designation. As a set-off to this, certain of the Arab politicians suggested that the country should be called "Southern Syria" in order to emphasise its close relation with another Arab State .

During the British Mandate period the area experienced the ascent of two major nationalist movements, one among the Jews and the other among the Arabs . The competing national interests of the Arab and Jewish populations of Palestine against each other and against the governing British authorities matured into the Arab Revolt of 1936–1939 and the Jewish insurgency in Palestine before culminating in the Civil War of 1947–1948. The aftermath of the Civil War and the consequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War led to the establishment of the 1949 cease-fire agreement, with partition of the former Mandatory Palestine between the newborn state of Israel with a Jewish majority, the West Bank annexed by the Jordanian Kingdom and the Arab All-Palestine Government in the Gaza Strip under the military occupation of Egypt.

The History Learning Site

Palestine is the name (first referred to by the Ancient Greeks) of an area in the Middle East situated between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Palestine was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 and remained under the rule of the Turks until World War One. Towards the end of this war, the Turks were defeated by the British forces led by General Allenby.

In the peace talks that followed the end of the war, parts of the Ottoman Empire were handed over to the French to control and parts were handed over to the British – including Palestine. Britain governed this area under a League of Nations mandate from 1920 to 1948. To the Arab population who lived there, it was their homeland and had been promised to them by the Allies for help in defeating the Turks by the McMahon Agreement – though the British claimed the agreement gave no such promise.

The same area of land had also been promised to the Jews (as they had interpreted it) in the Balfour Declaration and after 1920, many Jews migrated to the area and lived with the far more numerous Arabs there. At this time, the area was ruled by the British and both Arabs and Jews appeared to live together in some form of harmony in the sense that both tolerated then existence of the other. There were problems in 1921 but between that year and 1928/29, the situation stabilised.

(Editors Note: From Wikipedia The Emirate of Transjordan (Arabic: إمارة شرق الأردن‎ Imārat Sharq al-Urdun), also hyphenated as Trans-Jordan and previously known as Transjordania or Trans-Jordania, was a British protectorate established in April 1921. There were many urban settlements beyond the Jordan River, one in Al-Salt city and at that time the largest urban settlement east of the Jordan River. There was also a small Circassian community in Amman.

Transjordan had been a no man's land following the July 1920 Battle of Maysalun, and the British in neighbouring Mandatory Palestine chose to avoid "any definite connection between it and Palestine" until a March 1921 conference at which it was agreed that Abdullah bin Hussein would administer the territory under the auspices of the British Mandate for Palestine with a fully autonomous governing system.)

The Hashemite dynasty ruled the protectorate, as well as the neighbouring Mandatory Iraq. On 25 May 1946, the Emirate became the "Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan", achieving full independence on 17 June 1946 when the Treaty of London ratifications were exchanged in Amman. In 1949 the country's official name was changed to the "Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan". (See Modern Map History of Israel)

In early 1921, prior to the convening of the Cairo Conference, the Middle East Department of the Colonial Office set out the situation as follows which confirmed the Balfour Declaration:

Distinction to be drawn between Palestine and Trans-Jordan under the Mandate. His Majesty's Government are responsible under the terms of the Mandate for establishing in Palestine a national home for the Jewish people. They are also pledged by the assurances given to the Sherif of Mecca in 1915 to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs in those portions of the (Turkish) vilayet of Damascus in which they are free to act without detriment to French interests. The western boundary of the Turkish vilayet of Damascus before the war was the River Jordan. Palestine and Trans-Jordan do not, therefore, stand upon quite the same footing. At the same time, the two areas are economically interdependent, and their development must be considered as a single problem. Further, His Majesty's Government have been entrusted with the Mandate for "Palestine". If they wish to assert their claim to Trans-Jordan and to avoid raising with other Powers the legal status of that area, they can only do so by proceeding upon the assumption that Trans-Jordan forms part of the area covered by the Palestine Mandate. In default of this assumption Trans-Jordan would be left, under article 132 of the Treaty of Sèvres, to the disposal of the principal Allied Powers. Some means must be found of giving effect in Trans-Jordan to the terms of the Mandate consistently with "recognition and support of the independence of the Arabs".

The main problem after the war for Palestine was perceived beliefs. The Arabs had joined the Allies to fight the Turks during the war and convinced themselves that they were due to be given what they believed was their land once the war was over.


The 1922 White Pape r (also called the Churchill White Paper) was the first official manifesto interpreting the Balfour Declaration. It was issued on June 3, 1922, after investigation of the 1921 disturbances. Although the White Paper stated that the Balfour Declaration could not be amended and that the Jews were in Palestine by right, it partitioned the area of the Mandate by excluding the area east of the Jordan River from Jewish settlement. That land, 76% of the original Palestine Mandate land, was renamed Transjordan and was given to the Emir Abdullah by the British.

The White Paper included the statement that the British Government:

. does not want Palestine to become "as Jewish as England is English", rather should become "a center in which Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride."

After the partition, Transjordan remained part of the Palestine Mandate and its legal system applied to all residents, both East and West of the Jordan River, who all carried Palestine Mandate passports. Palestine Mandate currency was the legal tender in Transjordan as well as the area West of the river. This was the consistent situation until 1946, 24 years later, when Britain completed the action by unilaterally granting Transjordan its independence. Thus the British subverted the purpose of the Palestine Mandate, partitioned Palestine and created an independent Palestine-Arab state with no regard for the rights and needs of the Jewish population. According to Sir Alec Kirkbride, the British representative in the area, Transjordan was:

. intended to serve as a reserve of land for use in the resettlement of Arabs once the National Home for the Jews in Palestine, which [Britain was] pledged to support, became an accomplished fact. There was no intention at that stage of forming the territory east of the River Jordan into an independent Arab state.

In 1925, the British added 60,000 sq. km. of desert to eastern Transjordan forming an "arm" of land to connect Transjordan with Iraq and to cut Syria off from the Arabian Peninsula. The British continued to favor exclusive Arab development east of the Jordan River by enacting restrictive regulations against the Jews, even when Arab leaders sought Jewish involvement in the development of Transjordan) (see also Student Pulse) )

Clashing with this was the belief among all Jews that the Balfour Declaration had promised them the same piece of territory.

In August 1929, relations between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine broke down. The focal point of this discontent was Jerusalem. The primary cause of trouble was the increased influx of Jews who had emigrated to Palestine. The number of Jews in the region had doubled in ten years. The city of Jerusalem also had major religious significance for both Arabs and Jews and over 200 deaths occurred in just four days between August 23 rd to the 26 th ).

Arab nationalism was whipped up by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haji Amin al-Husseini. He claimed that the number of Jews threatened the very lifestyle of the Arabs in Palestine.

The violence that occurred in August 1929 did not deter Jews from going to Palestine. In 1931, 4,075 Jews emigrated to the region. In 1935, it was 61,854. The Mufti estimated that by the 1940’s there would be more Jews in Palestine than Arabs and that their power in the area would be extinguished on a simple numerical basis.

In May 1936 , more violence occurred and the British had to restore law and order using the military. Thirty four soldiers were killed in the process. The violence did not stop. In fact, it became worse after November 1937.

For the Arabs there were two enemies – the Jews and the British authorities based in Palestine via their League mandate. For the Jews there were also two enemies – the Arabs and the British.

Therefore, the British were pushed into the middle of a conflict they had seemingly little control over as the two other sides involved were so driven by their own beliefs. In an effort to end the violence, the British put a quota on the number of Jews who could enter Palestine in any one year. They hoped to appease the Arabs in the region but also keep on side with the Jews by recognising that Jews could enter Palestine – but in restricted numbers. They failed on both counts.

Both the Jews and the Arabs continued to attack the British. The Arabs attacked because they believed that the British had failed to keep their word after 1918 and because they believed that the British were not keeping the quotas agreed to as they did little to stop illegal landings into Palestine made by the Jews.

The Jews attacked the British authorities in Palestine simply because of the quota which they believed was grossly unfair. The British had also imposed restrictions on the amount of land Jews could buy in Palestine.

An uneasy truce occurred during the war when hostilities seemed to cease. This truce, however, was only temporary.

Many Jews had fought for the Allies during World War Two and had developed their military skills as a result. After the war ended in 1945, these skills were used in acts of terrorism. The new Labour Government of Britain had given the Jews hope that they would be given more rights in the area. Also in the aftermath of the Holocaust in Europe, many throughout the world were sympathetic to the plight of the Jews at the expense of the Arabs in Palestine.

However, neither group got what they were looking for. The British still controlled Palestine. As a result, the Jews used terrorist tactics to push their claim for the area. Groups such as the Stern Gang and Irgun Zvai Leumi attacked the British that culminated in the destruction of the British military headquarters in Palestine – the King David Hotel. Seemingly unable to influence events in Palestine, the British looked for a way out.

In 1947 , the newly formed United Nations accepted the idea to partition Palestine into a zone for the Jews (Israel) and a zone for the Arabs (Palestine). With this United Nations proposal, the British withdrew from the region on May 14th 1948. Almost immediately, Israel was attacked by Arab nations that surrounded in a war that lasted from May 1948 to January 1949. Palestinian Arabs refused to recognise Israel and it became the turn of the Israeli government itself to suffer from terrorist attacks when fedayeen (fanatics) from the Palestinian Arabs community attacked Israel. Such attacks later became more organised with the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). To the Palestinian Arabs, the area the Jews call Israel, will always be Palestine. To the Jews it is Israel. There have been very few years of peace in the region since 1948


Palestine British Mandate - History

The Great War was to unexpectedly turn the imperial spotlight onto this part of the world. As the Ottomans had thrown in their hand with the Germans, it was inevitable that the British would want to defend their strategic connection with India through the Suez. And, in 1915 they would even try to force a way through to the Russians through the Dardanelles. Palestine was suddenly thrust into an active theatre of war. At this period of time the most important indigenous group that the British had to work with was the Arabs. The number of Jews in Palestine were less than 60,000 at the outbreak of the war. Therefore, initial British contacts were, almost exclusively, aimed at the Arabs. The most important advance at this time was when the British High Commissioner of Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, tried to co-opt the help of the Sharif of Mecca, in the fight against the Ottomans. He did this through a series of correspondence known as the Hussein-McMahon letters. This correspondence seemed to promise the Arabs their own state stretching from Damascus to the Arabian peninsular in return for their aid in fighting the Ottomans. However, not only was the correspondence deliberately imprecise but the status and ability of the Sharif of Mecca to speak for all of the Arabs was itself in question. Despite these problems, the Sharif of Mecca formally declared a revolt against Ottoman rule in 1916. Britain provided supplies and money for the Arab forces led by the Sharif's sons Abdullah and Faisal. British military advisers were also detailed from Cairo to assist the Arab army that the brothers were organizing. Of these advisers, T.E. Lawrence was to become the best known.

To complicate the diplomatic waters, the British entered into an agreement with the French and Russians to divide the entire Middle East into areas of influence for each of the imperial powers but leaving the Holy Lands to be jointly administered by the three powers. This was a secret arrangement that was known as the Sykes Picot agreement of 1916. It directly contradicted many of the promises made to the Sharif of Mecca.

Indeed, the waters were even further muddied by a third commitment entered into by the British in 1917. The British government made a promise to prominent Jews in Britain that the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine would be looked on with favour by the British. The reason for this pledge is not exactly clear, but it seems to have been made for two reasons. The first was to secure financial support from prominent Jewish financiers in Europe. The second seems to have been a way of breaking their own secret arrangement with the French and Russians by promoting their own influence into Palestine at their supposed allies' expense.

Whatever the reason for this diplomatic chicanery, the diplomatic timebomb of these conflicting promises was about to explode as a direct result of the Russian revolution. The newly formed Bolshevik government took great pleasure in releasing the imperialistic designs of the British and French governments by publishing the Sykes-Picot agreement publicly and in full. The idea was to expose these capitilastic nations as morally bankrupt in their prosecution of the war and these secret agreements seemed to confirm that fact.

The publication of the Sykes-Picot agreement was not to be as politically devastating as feared for the simple fact that, at this point in time, the Arabs were advancing swiftly and assuredly against their Ottoman enemies. The Arabs felt that if they could make even further gains against the Ottomans that they would have more leverage in dealing with the imperial powers after the fighting had finished. The British were also advancing steadily through Palestine, capturing Jerusalem in December 1917. The British decisively defeated the Turks at Megiddo in September 1918, although the Arabs did manage to enter Damascus before the British were in a position to do so. The Ottomans capitulated soon after which left all of their previous dominions up for grabs.

The Versailles peace conference was used to impose allied plans and ideas on the defeated Central Powers, amongst whom was the Ottoman Empire. Both the Arabs and the Jews had delegations represented there. But, it was the victorious allies who virtually dictated all of the relevant terms and divisions of the lands. The Arab delagation was unsuccessful in promoting Arab independence, but had some success in persuading a border commission that Jewish immigration was not a good idea. Unfortunately, by this time, the British had already been declared as holding the mandate over Palestine and they had independently reaffirmed the Balfour declaration opening the way for a Jewish homeland. Administration The intense rivalry and competition between the Jews and Arabs was to afflict the British administration for virtually their entire period of governance. Unfortunately, the Zionists and the Arabs had mutually exclusive goals. The Zionists wished to create a Jewish homeland in their Holy Land. Whereas the Arabs were equally adamant that they should not lose their autonomy and rights in their own homeland. At this stage, the Arabs still massively formed the majority of the population. But what the Zionists lacked in numbers they more than made up for with political influence in the West and a zeal to succeed that bordered on fanatacism.

Palestine Gendarmerie
The fact that the British mandate included references to the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of a Jewish homeland was a severe blow to the Arabs. Partly to try and mollify this disappointment, the British split the Palestine mandate into two distinct areas, using the Jordan River as a natural boundary. The British claimed that Jewish immigration would be confined to the West of the river. The East of the river, which represented three quarters of the whole mandate area was to be reserved for the Arabs alone. The Hashemite Abdulla was to become the ruler of what was to become Transjordan. Most Arabs still felt ill at ease with this British plan. They regarded Transjordan as little more than an arid, empty desert. Besides, the principle of any Jewish homeland anywhere in Arab lands was still completely abhorrent to them.

Arab intransigence and unwillingness to work with the Jews was demonstrated almost immediately as the British tried to set up a legislative council and a constitution. The council was supposed to have ten of the seats allocated to the Arabs and only two to the Jews. The Arabs refused to cooperate on the basis that two seats for so few Jews meant that they were relatively over represented. They also resented the comments and concessions made to Zionism in the constitution. This failure meant that the British had no choice but to continue ruling Palestine directly themselves.

Over the next few years, the British made repeated attempts to include both communities in the day to day running of the mandate. Time and time again, Arab intransigence resulted in an absolute refusal to cooperate in any way. Conversely, the Jews were happy to work and cooperate with the authorities and thus gained a legitimacy and administrative experience far and above that which the size of their community merited. The best example of this was the creation of a Jewish agency in 1929. Arabs flatly refused to do the same.

Sir Herbert Samuel
In fact, 1929 saw the birth of the first real instance of communal ugliness. It would set off a trend that would keep rearing its ugly head for nearly as long as the British were in control of the mandate. The Wailing Wall incident was when Arabs and Jews clashed over a stretch of wall that was regarded as religiously important to both religions. Arabs tried to make access to this wall for the Jews as awkward and difficult as possible. In the end, fights broke out which flared into riots around the country. Some 133 Jews were killed (mostly by British authorities) and 116 Arabs died.

The most important outcome of the Wailing Wall incident was the establishment of the Shaw commission. This commision reported that the Arabs were very concerned about Jewish expansion and that steps should be taken to redress these feelings. The resulting Passfield white paper recommended that Jewish immigration should be stopped and that Jews should not be able to acquire new land. It also suggested a new legislative council which was biased more towards the Arabs. Once again, Arab intransigence failed to take advantage of the situation offered to them. When the Arabs refused to take part in a conference at which Zionists were present, the council lapsed.

Kibbutz, 1929
The Passfield recommendations were not fully implemented. A combination of Zionist pressure, British official ambivalence and the accession of Hitler in Germany all allowed some immigration to continue. And, when the British failed to fully prevent sales of land to Jews, the Arabs decided to implement a non-cooperation policy and a boycott of British goods. Jews were also unhappy at the idea of these restrictions, even if they weren't fully implemented, and more riots and protests resulted.

Arab Rebellion, 1936
Increasing militancy and organisation by the Arabs resulted in the formation of the Arab High Committee in 1936. This virtually coordinated whole-scale attacks and riots directed towards Jews over the next three years. Another commission was put together under Lord Peel in 1936. Yet again, Arab intransigence led to their boycotting of its procedures until just before it left. The almost inevitable conclusion that the committee reached was that there was impossible for the Arabs and Jews to live and work together. It therefore recommended partition - despite the population relocations and upheavals that would be necessary.

The Arabs responded to the commission with yet more riots and violence. The British felt compelled to disband the Arab High Commission and deport its leading members. Meanwhile, they also appointed yet another commission to examine the Peel commission report. The Woodhead report felt that the Peel commission was too generous to the Jews in terms of land to be set aside, but that the principle of partition was still maintained. All be it on a much smaller scale for the Jews. This had the effect of losing the support of the Jews, who thought that it was still inadequate, and yet didn't reconcile the Arabs who were against any partition.

As it happened, international events were eclipsing the luxuries of negotiated settlements in Palestine. The rise of Hitler inevitably cast the Jews into the camp with the British, who were unquestionably the lesser of two evils. The Arabs however, also needed to be coaxed into submissiveness so that the Suez Canal could be maintained in relative tranquility. With this in mind, the British published yet another White paper which was heavily biased in favour of the Arabs. It stated that there would be no partition of Palestine and that Jewish immigration would be limited to 75,000 a year for the next five years and that the Arabs could veto any immigration after that period. Jews had no option but to throw in their lot with the allies and most of them cast aside concerns for their dreams of a homeland in order to concentrate on the destruction of the virulently anti-semitic German Reich. Arabs were similarly pacified by these concessions to them. Palestine settled down to a relatively quiet time during the Second World War. The major concern being the approaching Italians and Germans who advanced towards the Suez. The battle of El Alamein removed any real threat to Palestine in this period. Economics of Empire Despite the massive upheavals and difficulties between the two competing communities, economically, Palestine was a surprisingly successful colony. And this was despite the fact that the colony had virtually no natural resources. Even the farmland was not that great. In fact, the main reason for success of Palestine was probably a strange combination of the competition between the Arabs and Jews and the synthesis that they also provided for each other. In competitive terms, both communities wanted to prove themselves better and more abler than the other. They both realised that economic success for their community would probably be the clinching factor in demonstrating their ability to govern themselves. The synthesis came about in matching the economic and technical sophistication of the Jews with the hardworking and relatively cheap Arabs who had an excellent understanding of the local terrain and economy. They both could offer qualities that the other community could utilise.

The economic success of the colony was inevitably curtailed with the worldwide depression of the 1930's. Although, relatively, it did not suffer as badly as most other colonies and countries did. A more serious challenge to the economic success of this colony was the terrorist campaigns that were conducted with increasing severity following the end of the Second World War. Both communities were involved, although the Jews were much more the active of the two. Although the terrorists principally aimed at military targets, the fact that this was a directly ruled colony meant that the local authorities would force the colony to try and pay for any damage done anywhere. This put a serious strain on the budget of the colony. In fact, the costs of this campaign were so high that the colony had to try and get money from an exhausted Britain. The difficulty that both Palestine and Britain had in covering the costs of this campaign were to be a major reason for the British to withdraw so quickly and completely. Role within the Empire

HMS Repulse at Haifa
In many ways, Palestine was an accidental acquistion. More a spoil of war than an activley sought after colony. It's only real strategic importance to the British was the fact that it was near the Suez canal. This seemed as if it might become important during the Second World War with the Axis powers nearing Cairo - but in the end proved superfluous.

Other than that, there was no particular reason for Britain to have control over it. Limited attempts were made at using it as a stop over base for communications to Asia. Roads linked Palestine to Transjordan and Syria and on into Iraq and the Persian gulf. Attempts were made at refuelling planes and seaplanes on their way between India and Britain. None of these schemes proved to be outstandingly significant or important. It felt more as if the British were trying to find reasons to justify its existence as a colony. The best thing that could be said about the colony was that it was relatively self-sufficient.

The rise of Mussolini's Italy with aspirations to recreate a Roman Empire in the Mediterranean did see Britain redouble its commitment to the region. The rise of Fascism meant that Britain had a delicate path to walk between appearing to be strong without provoking a war. Goodwill visits by the Royal Navy in to friendly ports such as those on the Eastern Mediterranean were all part of that balancing act. Withdrawal from Empire

Ships leaving Haifa
As the Second World War came to a close, the Jews felt that it was time to redress the imbalances of the 1939 White Paper. A number of factors contributed to giving them the diplomatic initiative. The first was the fact that so many Jews had fought so loyally with the Allies against the Germans and that the Jewish Agency had done so much to help the Allied war effort within Palestine itself. Another, was the guilt felt by the Allied powers as they uncovered the full extent of German designs against the Jews at concentration camps throughout Central Europe. Equally important was the fact that the Americans were becoming increasingly sympathetic to their claims and disproportionately powerful in Post-War Europe. Another more sinister development was the fact that the most important Jewish terrorist groups had all come together into a coalition. Thus, they could present a concerted military front for the first time. This they used to increasingly destructive means as they turned their terrorism against a war weary British military establishment.

King David Hotel
The Labour Party's granting of independence to India in 1947 pulled the rug from any strategic value in holding colonies such as Palestine. British soldiers who wished to be demobilised increasingly resented being posted to Palestine to hold the line between Arabs and Jews who sought advantage over one another whilst not worrying about striking the forces of Law and Order in between. Jewish terrorist groups in particular saw British soldiers and police as an obvious soft target representing the regime denying them free entry after the horrors of the Second World War had laid bare the extent of their suffering in Europe.

The British entered into yet another commission, although this time together with the Americans. The Anglo-American commission published a paper heavily in favour of the Jews. It recommended an immediate end to restrictions on land purchases, on immediately allowing admission to 100,000 European Jews and the creation of a bi-national state under United Nations tutelage. This last option was a new one for the British and one that they took advantage of just as soon as they could. Economically tired and war weary the British were in no mood to fight to maintain a mandate that was proving so troublesome and irksome. The relatively anti-imperial Labour government was keen to cut these imperial knots and indeed was already planning to lose the most important of all British colonies India. Therefore, Britain leapt at the opportunity of off-loading this problem to the United Nations and invited a UN commission (UNSCOP) to examine the problem whilst they hastily made preparations to withdraw.

Jerusalem, 1948
UNSCOP found little that was new other than the feeling of urgency. Yet again, the Arabs boycotted the proceedings which gave the Jews an excellent opportunity to plead their case. It recommended to the General Assembly that partition was the only option that could work for both parties, although it was to be mitigated by an economic union. The British, relievedly, had completed their withdrawal of forces by 1948. Not long after this the Jews were to declare independence to which various surrounding Arab countries responded by invading the new Israel. The highly motivated Jews not only withstood the onslaught of the Arabs but actually turned them back and captured many areas that were not designated to them by the United Nations. A new nation had been formed out of the imperial mandate.
Palestine Map, 1901
1921 Map of British and French Mandates
1922 Map of Palestine
1929 Map of Palestine
Near East Map 1942
1944 Map of Palestine Mandate
Imperial era Flags of Palestine
n.b. The flag with the green bar in the middle is from the Arab revolt of 1917. The green and white bars were switched in 1921. After 1923, the Union Jack was used.
Administrative Documents
1919 Laissez-Passer
1938 Passport
1946 Passport
Identity Card
RN ID Card
Palestine Permission Notice 1919
Palestine Judicial Appointment
Railway Ticket
Administrators of Palestine 1917 - 1948 Images of Imperial Palestine Images
National Archive Palestine Images Articles Palestine: Britain's Crown of Thorns
Christopher Sykes gives an account of Britain's Mandate years and how, despite Palestine's economic successes, it was unable to reconcile the Arabs and Jews into living in the same space.

Palestine Railways and Ports
J. Y. Vatikiotis, who used to work on the Palestine Railway, explains just how quickly and extensively the British modernized the railway and port network of their Palestine Mandate in the 1930s and 1940s helping to enable the colony to become one of the most profitable in the Empire.

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