The British Mandate for Palestine


The British Mandate for Palestine September, 9, 1917, it was the birth of the curse, when the Allies had usurped the Holy Land of Jerusalem. Here starts the memoire of the bête noir; for it had not been just a year; as the despot empire; Britain; had authorized a military administration head by General Gilbert Clayton to rule the seized territory in September 1918. The undeserved dictatorship had secretly sanctioned a Zionist committee, to put the unfolded conspiracy of Balfour Declaration into action.

No sooner, General Clayton had taken custody of Palestine, he appointed a military ruler on each city ion the mourning land.  The Supreme ruler of Jerusalem; Colonel Ronald Storz, ;had taken over his prey in December, 28,1917 Other jobs had been left out for Christian Arabs; translators and writers, meanwhile the high ranking positions had been endorsed; as a Jewish righteous property.

The British Military Administration

The hideous course of action forged ahead. The claimed administration took to grounding civil courts, which implied that each judiciary verdict was to abide by the military provisions. Furthermore, it had established a court of Appeal and two trial courts in Jerusalem, serving Jerusalem, Hebron and Be’er Sheva courts.

Adding insult to injury, the British enforced authority had exercised its power economically. Financially, the Egyptian currency had been declared as the official currency in Palestine. Besides, a tax law had been reportedly promulgated proportionally with setting the prices. The ruling troops had inaugurated economic companies to sell Egyptian textiles; as Egypt was a British colony. Drastically, land transactions had been illegalized.

The mother country had stitched its enslaved Muslim Indian armed forces encompassing Jerusalem; to sustain security.  However, these troops were but to curtain leasing the enclosed territories within, to be the cradle of the Jewish settlements.

The British atrocities had reached the administrative setup of the colonized city. Lamentably, Palestine had been divided into several brigades, each brigade is governed by a British ruler. Moreover, each brigade had been shattered into several districts, where the high ranking offices and senior positions had been passed to the British and Jews; the High Commissioner, the Secretary General, the magistrate and the governors of the brigades.

The British colonization of the forsaken arcadia of Jerusalem had been the seeds of callous Zionist conspiracy.   The imperial dictatorship had paved the way for Haim Weizman to head a Zionist delegation, to explore their promised homeland. In a reckless scenery, Colonel Ronald Storz, the military ruler of Jerusalem, has been saving no efforts, to arrange meetings with the Palestinian dignitaries, to disguise the denounced intentions of the visit, and wipe out the latter’s belief regarding the omens of the Zionist Dream of establishing a Jewish national homeland in their own country.

Yet, the dignitaries had been invulnerable to the deceit; as the British objectives had been publicly uncoated in the conqueror of Jerusalem; General Allenby’s arrogant speech in December, 11, 1917; before a wide crowd of the dignitaries of Jerusalem and its outskirts, saying “today, the crusades have ended.”

Henceforth, Haim Weizman marched barefaced speaking of an adequate timeline towards realizing the infamous Zionist Dream. Meetings had been held in every spot in the formerly called Palestine; as the indurate Committee settled upon “Israel” rather than Palestine with Magen David as their motto, to drive their diaspora to its doom and found their national homeland right there.

A wave of rage swept over the usurped territory. The patriotic mob took to the streets in antagonistic protests and demonstrations. Political committees, cultural associations had been formed to roar against the ongoing expropriation.

The British Mandate for Palestine These committees had equipped its members with light weapons and taught them the basics of the Hebrew tongue, to follow up the Zionist publications. It had been a priority, to saw the seeds of Pan-Arabism amongst the children’s commonsense. They had catered for arming the Palestinian soldiers in Amman, to be on the offensive against probable attack. Muslim-Christian committees had been established to counter the Jewish illegitimate dream, and prohibit the Jewish land purchase plans.

November,2,1918, the Jews celebrated the commemoration of Balfour’s Declaration, which inflamed the Arabs taking again to the streets. Yet, this time the British government tried to molest these protests, after warning that Arab protesters would be detained immediately. On the contrary, these threats motivated a grand Arab march lead by Musa Kadhim Al Husain; the principal of Jerusalem.

November,7,1918, the British military ruler in Jerusalem issued a document enunciates that  the British glorious war  in the Middle East endeavor to demolish the Ottoman empire and unshackle its tributaries from the iron fist of the Caliphate, grant them the right to Self-determination.

In that thread, the first Arab-Palestinian conference had been held in Jerusalem from 27 January to 10 February 1919, hosting twenty-seven representatives of Islamic and Christian Palestinian associations superintended by Aref Daoudi Dajani. The conference underscored the dire need to thwart the Jewish Immigration, and impede their dream of a national Zionist homeland in Palestine. Withal, the conference ensured that the native Jewish citizens would be safeguarded with all the rights and duties enjoyed by Arab citizens. Howbeit, General Allenby banned the publication of this statement.

The British Civil Government

Conforming to the British conspiracy, the military administration had been evacuated for a British civil government to substitute it; as a “Palestinian Government.” Consistently, Herbert Samuel had been appointed; as the first British High Commissioner in Palestine starting from July,1920. Mr. Samuel initiated the chairmanship of the Executive Board, which consisted of:

  • Secretary General: The Vice Chairman entrusted for administration; Windham Dides.
  • Financial Secretary: He is charged of the financial and economic affairs.
  • Judicial Secretary: He is entitled to authorize the jurisprudence and legislative affairs, which had been shouldered by Norman Bentwich.
  • Samuel had formed an advisory council composed of twenty members, half of whom were British, seven Arabs and three Jews. The council had been no more a consultancy assembly.

July,7, 1920, Mr. Samuel had convoked the deputies of southern Palestine in Jerusalem. Next day, he repeated the same scenario with the northern deputies in Haifa. Both meetings had been to get the statement of King George V delivered. It had been nothing but a tranquillizing manœuvre ensuring that the British policy in Palestine would promote equity among all sects, races and beliefs homed in Palestine, after declaring it the national homeland for the Jews, highlighting the economic privileges of this step to the Palestinians ‘advantages.

Thus, the Jews started to sneak into the Palestinian lands in mini exodus; up to 1650 annual immigrants. Samuel had burned the midnight oil to grant the Jews land lease facilitations. Worse, he had been keen to allot an ample share of economic investments and projects in Palestine to the Jews. Despite being an Arab majority country, Hebrew had been decreed; as an official language therein. Consequently, Samuel had reaped what he saw; as his program had gained the consent of the British House of Commons on 27 October 1920.

Arab Palestinians launched combating campaigns against the British colonization backing policy to the Zionist settlement plans. Revolutionary demonstrations and conferences had taken place to denounce Zionism and colonialism. Patriotic movements had been of multifarious incarnations; parties, councils, trade unions and national organizations.

March 1921, “Samuel” issued an order to form a higher Islamic Council known as the Higher Juristic Islamic Council, which was based in Jerusalem. It was headed by the Chief of Scholars and four other members. It was endowed to run the administration and supervision of the Islamic Waqfs, the appointment of legitimate judges. Amin al-Husainy had been appointed as the president of the Supreme Islamic Council in 1922.

Palestine Mandate Municipal Plan

As soon as General Allenby took hold of Jerusalem, he had called Macklin; the planner of Alexandria city; for active service. The planner had been ordained, to draft a primary structural plan of Jerusalem. The plan was to elucidate the standards, specifications and constraints related to the construction and urban development of Jerusalem. Accordingly, the named plan came to light in 1918 as the nucleus of the later municipal divisions. Herein Jerusalem had been dissected into four zones.:

  • The Old City and its walls.
  • The surroundings of the old town.
  • East Jerusalem (Arabic).
  • West Jerusalem (Jewish)

There, ethnicity had been driven to an epic level, for the plan had defined West Jerusalem; as a development zone, depriving East Jerusalem and its neighboring Old City of this privilege by illegalizing construction in the parameters of the persecuted area.

This plan had been a token of the full occupation of the city, as a Zionist Capital to be. The aforementioned restriction had been designated, to put an end to any probable Arab expansion on the expense of the Jewish settlements. It had been no more than a step to divert the international attention towards a ferocious Jewish community in Jerusalem

The municipal council had been dissolved and replaced by a Mandate-selected municipal administration committee. The board was composed of six members, two from each sect. The committee was headed by a member of the Muslim community, and vised by two members of the other two sects. These two were to speak on the behalf of the head in his absence on alternative basis. .

Hand in hand with the actualization of the civil administration in 1920, the committee had undergone a major reconstitution. The British Mandate authority had assigned a seventeen-member council, to run the municipal affairs, including ten British officers, four Muslim members and three Jewish members. Then, the Jews took over its majority, to be six members versus four Muslims and two Christians.    .

Undoubtedly, the rise of Hitler’s Nazism in 1933 had served the Zionist cause by all means. The international community had sympathized with the Jewish mass extermination, and the Mandate escorted exodus to Palestine till the end of WW2 from 1918 to 1947.


There had been no authentic population census statistics till 1914. Yet, there had been an Ottoman attempt, to document the actual population census in Palestine in a book called “Mandate Census” in 1922.  The book denotes that the population census of Palestine had mounted to 689.273 thousand persons. The Jews did not exceed 60,000 persons; half of them had lost their lives, after being trod on under the Nazis foot in the World War.

On the other side, the Israeli database indicates that the population of Jerusalem mounted to 32,300 persons in 1917. The validity probability of this number entails that all the Jews in Palestine were living in Jerusalem.

The United Nation Partition Plan for Palestine

The Mandate-motivated rapid increase of the Jewish exodus to Palestine was to turn the native Palestinians to a minority in their own country. Therefore, in the years 1920, 1929,1933 and 1936 natives had lead consecutive revolutions against the Jewish land appropriation and immigration in Jerusalem, where the last had extended till 1939.

The British Mandate had attempted to sort out the Arab-Jewish conflict, offering several resolutions that fortify the Jewish existence in Jerusalem but in vain. Right after 1929 revolution, Britain went for dividing Palestine into districts, some Arab and some Jewish, each enjoying autonomy under the Mandate, but Arabs in Palestine had foiled this project.

The British Mandate did not lose hope; nonetheless; it had conjoined Bill committee, to revive the division exhortation. In the aftermath of 1936 revolution. Palestine shall be divided into a Jewish and Arab states, while Jerusalem shall be under international order for its sanctity.

This attempt had been dashed, thanks to the Arab revolution. Thence, Britain had complied with the recommendations of Woodhead Committee, that had been imposed to survey the compatibility of Bill Committee Decisions. During WW2, The British Mandate harped on the double-faced string, promising Arabs of a compromise, yet going ahead to establish a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.

Determined on the Judaizing plan, Britain called on the United Nations; for its international credibility and sovereignty, to put an end to the Jewish diaspora and displacement, and say the final word regarding the Palestinian State Division.

February 18, 1947, the British Foreign Minister displayed the handed Palestinian cause report to the UN, to issue its resolution.  An urgent session had been held upon the British request, to form a committee to put the matter under debate, and report thereon to the council at the next ordinary session. The British delegate was given a proposal to “end the mandate of Palestine and declare its independence.” The Soviet Union presented a similar proposal, but the British proposal won the majority by forming a special committee of the United Nations concerned with the Palestinian cause in relation to the Jewish ethnic cleansing in Europe, and sheltering in concentration camps.

May 22, 1947, the British demand had been approved and passed to the political committee. Eventually,

Palestine had been sentenced to abide by Bill’s committee division plan. The devastating verdict had been resented by the Arabs, yet, unwelcomely accepted by the Jews.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict

May 14, 1948, The British Mandate for Palestine had been approaching its termination. Britain had disclosed its withdrawal plan from Palestine, to empower the newly born Zionist state. The formerly victimized Jews had unmasked their darkest visage. They had retrieved the dark catalogue of Nazism in Palestine. Palestinians were to flee their homes threatened of getting either displaced or slaughtered. Mass massacres had evacuated the defenseless civilians. It had not been a war, but terrorist atrocities.

Eventually, the holy land of Jerusalem had turned to a deserted “crematorium”.

May, 14,1948, the British withdrawal from Palestine came to its end. The Savior of the Provisional State of Israel announced the establishment of the State of Israel. Arab armed forces broke into the holy land, to join their Palestinian fellows against the novice state.  Unfortunately, the unjust war fruited in the Palestinian Nakba. Consequently, it resulted in the occurrence of West Jerusalem. Palestine kneeled down to the Israeli sovereignty, trespassing the lands stipulated by the partition resolution. Arab Jerusalem remained under Jordanian control. A bilateral cease-fire agreement had been signed on 30 November 1948, and then turned into a truce agreement between the two countries in August 1948.

Land Ownership after the Armistice Agreement in Jerusalem

Area in dunums%:

  • Area under Jordanian rule: 2220 dunums: 11.48%
  • Area under Israeli occupation: 16261 dunums: 84.13%
  • United Nations areas and Haram land: 850 dunums: 4.39%

Amidst the international reluctance considering the partition resolution paralleled to the dominance of the Zionist land appropriation, Israel began to integrate this large part of the city into a state, to breach the partition plan discussed in its membership in the UN.


Written by: Gehad El-Ghoneimy


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