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The People and The Land

Palestine Before 1948
 
The British Mandate On Palestine
 

1918-1923

First: British Mandate Pre-Stage

The Zionist movement came into view and spread among European Jews at the end of the nineteenth century A.C. The utterance “The Zionism” was derived of the Hebrew word “Tsion” Which is a name of a mountain southward of Jerusalem “Sahyoun Mount”.

The Jews visited it for pilgrimage because they believed that king David was burried there. It was known that the Jews, at that period and before it, were like Jewish gatherings spreading throughout the world. These gatherings had no political, economical, social nor inherital relations among them except the religion. That was due to the intermingling of this gatherings in the communities they were living. Also, the Zionist allegation, that there was a “Jewish Nationalism” was only a false heresy because those gatherings needed the national elements like, the unified people, the piece of territory to live on, language, customs and the common traditions.

The Zionist concept had ripened in the civil European atmosphere since the sixteenth century A.C. and it flourished in the political shperes which were prevailing in Europe in the nineteenth century (the sheres of imperialism), definitely after 1870.

The Zionist concept was based on establishing a Jewish national homeland in Palestine after the transaction, between the Zionist movement and the British Imperialism was accomplished owing to the famous “Balfour Promise” in 1917, which stated:

"Dear Lord Rothschild:

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with the Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done, which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine- or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist federation.

Yours,
Arthur James Balfour"

This declaration obviously demonstrated the commitment of Brithish government then, in suppoting the Zionist ambitions in the Arab land of Palestine against its legal owners. By this declaration, they granted the right of the disowned to whom didn't deserve.

When the British armies could enter the country by means of stratagem, they met them dearly as they were liberators not occupiers. When the Zionist committee showed up, Arabs felt the tolls of danger.

After the British government had agreed to send the committee to Palestine in order "to implement any steps required to carry out the declaration of the government concerning the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine under the authority of the Brithish General "Allenby".

At the same time they had to pacify the doubts of Arabs regarding the true Zionist intentions.

The occupying military administration tried to gradually prepare Palestine to become a national homeland for the Zionists by all and possible means.

After the arrival of the Zionist committee, what happened in Palestine was unbelievable. That was due to the establishment of a national homeland for the Jews in a country where the number of population exceeded (92%) of the non-Jewish population.

1923-1948

At the outset of this period, Britain had the decree of the British Mandate administration on palestine according to the Uited Nations convention as Britain didn't have to start carrying out the terms of this document because it actually practised its authority on Palestine since years in compliance with its Zionist imperialist policy, which was originally based on compulsion and the force of arms, until 1948.

During that period the associations did not progress so Palestinian Arabs had to complain to UN permanent Mandate committee in Geneva. The committee didn't have the right to check and follow-up in the mandated countries, so the Arabs had only to protest, resist, revolt, rebel and civil insurrection, which ultimately led to violent clashes with the British army forces and the Jewish settlers.

In 1924 the British Commissioner "Herbert Samuel" issued a new Palestinian Monetary project. The Palestinian Monetary decree was issued in February 1927. But the people accused the government that it could not coin whatever it wanted without control because that would inflict the Arab economy.

Moreover, the High Commissioner succeeded in issuing the law of Palestinian nationality aiming at granting the Palestinian nationality for the Jews staying in the country.

The British government declared openly during two successive terms of UN meetings (1924-1925) that it disagreed to found a legislative council in Palestine based, in formation, on relalive representation where the absolute majority would be for the Palestinian Arabs. That would create an obstacle for the government in carrying out the responsibilities duly in establishing a jewish national homeland.

After the period of the High Commissioner Robert Samuel had terminated, Herbert Charles Blomer was appointed as High Commissioner in Palestine on 25 August 1925. He lasted in his position for three years. In March 1925, Balfoure visited Jerusalem to participate in the inauguration of the Hebrew University, which was built on Arab Land on Olive Mount, which the British authority expropriate it by force from its owners in 1918 and gave it to Zionists.

A general strike was declared in the country in protest of Balfor's visit. Massive demonstrations broke out against him, which made the french authorities take him out to Beirut from, which he returned to his country by ship.

During the first ten years of the British mandate about 76400 Jewish immgrants came to Palestine from Eastern Europian countries in general. When the immigration increased Arabs had better resist the Zionist actions and the bias of the authorities.

The revolution broke out due to Al Buraq incident on 24th, Septmeber 1928, when the Jews tried takeover the western wall of al Aqsa Mosque, which was a Moslem property. This incident resulted in the unifying of the Arab support, from all Arab countries, for the Palestine problem. It was known that Al Buraq revolution, which witnessed bloody events, as Arabs broke through Jewish quarters in Hebron, Nablus, Bisan and Safad. The British forces was alerted to defend the Jews. So, they practised the most ferocious means of compulsion against the Arab demonstrators by shooting them, also fighter planes, infantry and armoured forces were used. Both lifta and Deir Yasin Villages and others were destroyed. More than a thousand people, mostly Arabs, were tried, and 26 persons (25 Arabs and one Jew) were senteneed to death.

In 1930 the number of the Jewish immigrants rose up to 104.750. During the ensuing six years the number amounted to 284.645, an increase equals 164%. These figures didn't include the numbers of the jewish immigrants who illegally came to the country.

On the eve of Al Isra'a Wall Mi'eraj on 27 Rajab 1350 Hij, dated the 7th of December 1931, a Moslem conference was held attended by twenty-two Islamic countries and groups of the prominent personalities in the Arab World. The opening of the conference, Al Mufti "Mohammed Amin Al Hosaini" assured the importance of Palestine and Al Aqsa for the Islamic World.

The conference, also condemned Zionism, and the British policy in Palestine as well as the Jewish immigration to it.

The conference decided, the establishment of Islamic League in Jerusalem and the boycott of all the Jewish products in the Islamic countries besides establishing an agricultural company in Palestine to save the Moslem Lands.

On 13 July, 1931, an official decree was issued to appoint General Arthur, Gronfell Wakhope as the High commissioner in Palestine. Wakhope arrived in Palestine. He had instrustions regarding confirmation of the Jewish National homeland, but the Arab demands should be treated with procrastination.

Also, a Jewish population majority should be realized in palestine while exposing delusive projects for Arabs to engage with.

On 4th, August, 1932, a declaration for establishing Al Istiqlal faction was issued, undertaking to struggle against imperialism and the Jewish immigration, and acting to realize Arab Unity. The independants reaffifmed their objection to Balfoure declaration and mandate and revealed the origin of the existing ally between Zionism and the British Mandate. Moreover, they confirmed that one third of the country budget was assigned for the affairs of defense, and security due to the attempts of the government to establish a foreign national homeland in a challenge of the Palestinian will.

At the outset of 1934, a palestinian youth conference was held in Jaffa to discuss the youth conscription for the help of the national movement.

By the end of 1934, acknowledged by "Bill" committee, that the number of the Jewish immigrants was about 42.359 and 30327 on 1933 and 9553 in 1932.

By the end of 1935, the figure of the Jewish immigrants amounted to 61854 Jews who came to Palestine from all parts of Europe, Also, the official statistics indicated that, by the outset of 1935, the number of Jews in Palestine was twice their number in 1929 as the Jews computed a fourth of the total population.

Al Shiekh Izziddin Al Qassam Revolt

The British Mandate was sure of the dangerous status in Palestine when the country had witnessed the revolt of Al Shaikh Izzidin Al Qassam who, with other religious warriors devoted themselves to defend Palestine Land.

He was martyred in Jenin in a military battle with the British army. Soon after this event, Britain insinuated to its High commission "Wakhope",- after a month of the martyrdom of Al Qassam- to offer the project of the legislative council to Arabs and Jews, as a reponse to the requests of the Palestinian parties- committee, in November, which stated that:

1. The government offer, in December 1935, for a new constitution project was a praical step towards the democratic rule when a legislative council, with an informal majority, was suggested.

2. Concerning Land sales: The government resolved to legislize a law to prevent land sales except when the Arab landlord kept an area of land enough for the needs of a family.

3. The Jewish immigration average was accurately estimated according to the country absorption capacity. A new statistical bureau was installed in order to estimate this average.

The Great 1936 Revolution and The Division Project

The revolution flared up in February 1936 due to a simple event which agitated the feelings of the Palestinian Arabs. It was too overwhelming to overburden. This revolution started when a Jewish contractor refused to employ any Arab laborer in building three schools in Jaffa which had already contracted with the government to build up. Subsequently, Arab laborers mobilized at the school site and hindered the Jewish laborers from getting to it. On 15th, April, a Jew was killed and another was seriously wounded. The Jews slaughtered Arab villagers in their houses, in retaliation.

That was the start, then violence was escalated and tensified throughout Palestine. Many were killed and wounded in both parties. The British Army added fuel to the fire when it confronted the Arab demonstrations killing and wounding many Arabs. General strike was declared throughout Palestine and the popular resistance grew tenser constituling groups who centrally fortified on mountains. Many Arab volunteers from East Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq joined them. Thus the resistance groups turned to be an armed popular revolution supported by all calsses of people. The revolution adopted various ways of struggle like, demolishing bridges, exploding railways and oil pipes, attacking military baracks and striking the British army fortifications. The British often used warplanes, armours and artillary to compel the people to halt up revolution, which was still aggravating. Meanwhile, there was Arab mediation endeavors between the supreme Arab committee and the British government when a joint-call was declared by both kings Ben Sa'aud and Ghazi, with prince Abdallah on 10th, October to the chairman of the Arab committee and the Arabs of Palestine stating that:

"We are very distressed for the prevailing status in Palestine. Regarding our agrrement with our brotherens; Arab kings and Prince Abdallah, we call you to appease in order to spare bloodshed taking into account the good intentions of our friendly British government and its declared desire for equity. Please, be confident that we are endeavoring to help you".

Accordingly, the supreme Arab committee announced to break up the strike calling the people to perform religious service for the souls of the martyrs who computed more than one thousand Arabs.

The Division Plan

The royal committee presided by "Lord Bill" published on 7th, July 1937, a report exposing the views of Arab and Jewish leaders.

The committee recommended that it was impossible to solve the Palestine problem except on the basis of Palestine division plan proposal. The most important terms of the division plan were:

1. Establishment of a Jewish State dividing both the norhtern and western parts of Palestine. It extends along the coast from the borders of Lebanon to southern Jaffa. It includes Acre, Haifa, safad, Typerias, Nazarete and Tel Aviv. It is associated with Britain in a treaty of friendship and alliance.

2. The holy places are under the British Mandate including Jerusalem and Bethlehem. They are attached with Jaffa by a passage including Allud, Al Ramla and Nazarete too. The Mandate state is responsible for protecting these places.

3. The palestinian territories (the southern and eastern parts of Palestine) including Jaffa are annexed to east Jordan and associated with Britain in a treaty of friendship and alliance.

4. The Jewish State has to pay a financial aid for the Arab State and Britain donates two million sterling pounds for the Arab State.

5. What is called an exchange of population between the Arab and the Jewish States will be implemented. Arabs (325 thousands) are gradually transferred from the Jewish State to the Arab State. A land in Beersheba ought to be prepared for them after ensuring irrigation projects.

6. Agreement of customs has to be signed by both states to unify taxes on imported goods as much quantities as possible.

Regarding the Jewish Settlement, the Jewish individuals and establishments got in 1936 about (1.200.000) dunnuns.

The number of settlements multiplied to 203 and also the number of population from 30.000 in 1927 to 98.000 people in 1936.

The Palestinian Arab reply for the division resolution was to go on revolution. That resulted in the delay of passing the resolution of division. The revolution was still flaring up until the Second World War broke out.

On 23rd, November 1938, "Malcom Macdonald", the British Minister of Colonies, gave an important speech in the Council of Commons explaining the Status quo in Palestine. The statement demonstrated an understanding of the Arab attitudes and their points of view when he said, "The problem of refugees in Mid-Europe will never be settled on account of Palestine but should be solved in a wider field." He digressed saying, "The Arab people have lived in those countries since several centuries but their views were not considered when Balfour promise was declared, nor when the Mandate decree was formulated. Arabs, during the ensuing twenty years of the war, have been watching that peaceful annihilation, which the strange people are launching, and they flagrantly protest, from time to time, to retain their belief. They have become frightened that their destiny in their country will be subordinated to the domination of this new active people in the fields of economy, politics and trade. If I were an Arab I would be horrified too."

- After this statement, the detainees were set free on 27th, December 1938 in order to permit Palestine and the Arabs to take part in the next London Conference.

- Some Arab delegates from Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and East Jordan went to the conference then.

- On 7th, February 1939, the Round table conference was inaugurated but ended with disappointment.

- On 17th, May 1939 the British Government issued what was known "The White Book" including the following:

1. Constitution:

In the tenth term, "The aim of His Majesty government is to constitute, within ten years, an independent Palestinian government and engage with the United Kingdom by a treaty.

2. Immigration:

The government of His Majesty ought to allow more expansion of the Jewish national homeland through immigration unless otherwise, accepted by Arabs.

3. Territories:

Term 16 in the "White Book" stated that, "The country is divided into areas. In one part, the lands are not to be transferred from Arabs to the Jews. In another part it is defined while in the third part it is free.

- After the end of the Second World War, the world Zionism found out that Britain was a powerless state after war, but it had a worldly position in USA, which maintained its power and had its interests in the Middle East. So, the world Zionism doubled its political activities at the upper American levels taking into account that it was the only power capable to exercise pressure on the British government to yield for the Zionist requests. It adopted many means; the most important was the diplomatic as it depended on continuous stress by the Jewish Agency in Britain. The second means was to carry out the set strategy based on the American pressure on the British government. Thirdly it practiced stress by terrifying means through the escalation of terrorist operations and the infliction of painful skrikes on the Mandate administration.

The Zionist establishment and the Jewish agency effectively persisted in carrying out what they were looking forward. So they tried to win the American Leadership including the American President "Hary Truman" who no sooner had he abode in the White House than he dispatched a message to the British Prime Minister "Churchil" on 24th July 1945. Also, the new British Prime Minister "Atly" was requested in a message forwarded to him on 31st August 1945, to let 100.000 Jews enter Palestine.

In the American reply on the message as well as their excessive concern in the Jews, Britain proposed on 19th October 1945 that U.S.A. would share it the responsibility of planning Palestine Policy through the formation of an Anglo-American Inquiry Committee to study the Palestinian problem.

The Division Resolution

In September 1947, a UN Committee was formed according to a request by the British government, called "UNSCOP" UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE. The committee comprised eleven members excluding the permanent five great states in Security Council alleging that their participation would lead to biased report. The eleven members were selected from Australia, Sweden, Canada, India, Czechoslovakia, Iran, Holland, Quatimala, Pieru, Orogway and Yougoslavia. The Swedish judge, "Imil Sandostrome" was appointed a chairman of it. He had to submit, in September, a comprehensive report to solve the problem according to the committee's proposals.

The Arabs protested on sending another committee to Palestine, so, it was voted against the resolution. The formation of the committee was apparently biased against Arabs because some of its members were either pro-Zionism or subordinates to American influence.

The committee finalized its report on 31st, August 1947 and forwarded it to the UN General Assembly. The report contained eleven recommendations.

The division resolution calls for:

Dividing Palestine into two Arab and Jewish States. A part of it will be under the international commandment and administered by the United Nations. About 56% of it, should be to the Jews.

The two states will be independent after a two-year interm period, starting on the first of September 1947, approving the constitution for each of them, signing an economical treaty, establishing an economic union, unifying the customs tariffs and the currency.

Also, the division resolution stipulates the organization of the Jewish immigration:

After exposing those recommendations, the High Arab board had already declared its refusal of those plans. The next day of publishing the report, "Golda Mayerson", the representative of the Jewish Agency expressed implicitly her acceptance of the most major parts of the project.

- Arabs, in general and Palestinians in particular expressed their absolute resentment of this project. All Arab peoples expressed their resentment by launching demonstrations in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and in most Arab countries.

- Accordingly, the political committee of the Arab league decided to meet in Soufar in Lebanon on 6th, September so that they would study the context of the committee's report and subsequently, take an Arab unified political action.

Due to the meeting, the following decisions were taken:

1. The political committee viewed that the execution of those proposals constituted an actual danger, which threatened peace and security in Palestine and the Arab countries. Therefore, it had decided to resist, by all effective means, so as to prevent the execution of those proposals.

2. The political committee suggested to disclose for all Arab peoples the real dangers facing the case of Palestine. So, it outcried for each one of the Arabs to do his best for help and sacrifice.

3. The political committee had decided to notify the governments of USA and Britain, that any decision taken, regarding Palestine Problem, without stating the establishment of an independent Arab State, would prognosticate dangerous disorders in the Middle East.

4. The committee had decided to request the states of the league to offer the most urgent possible aid for the Palestinians, like money, arms and men.

Due to the division resolution, Palestinian Arabs resisted, with the Arab support, the Zionist settlement. This resistance extended to include all the countries. Atrocious battles broke out and all weapons were used, which resulted in many killed and wounded people.

Due to those dangerous turmoils, the international Security Council met on 19th, March to study the serious status in Palestine. It was obviously found out that the division plan could never be peacefully executed and it ought to be implemented. So the Jews decided to thwart any attempt by the Security Council that might invalidate the division resolution. To impose the status quo policy on the United Nations, the Jewish assault in Nakhshoun' enabled them to overtake the Arab Qastal village in Jerusalem province.

On 9th, April AbdelQader Al Hosaini, in a strong military battle could compel the Jews out of Qastal. He was martyred there, but the Jews returned after hours, while the citizens were bidding farewell to their leader. They occupied and completely destroyed it.

Coincidentally, the Zionists, owing to their combat plan, committed "Deir Yasin" massacre, at the outskirts of Jerusalem. They broke into the village with heavy arms, slaughtered and mutilated the inhabitants. They murdered 250 Arabs, mostly women and children.

The Jewish writer "John Kimy" described this horrible massacre as "the most atrocious disgrace in the history of Jews".

The English cooperated with the Jews in order to let them realize their aims. They trained them during the mandate period and provided them with arms. Moreover, when the English withdrew from any area in 1948, they handed it over to the Jews.

This period of the year 1948, ended, and it was called the 1948 Catastrophe.

The Jews occupied most lands of Palestine and expelled the citizens except in Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem. During that, the "White House" had already summoned the representative of the Jewish agency in Washington "Ilyaho Eishtein" notifying him that USA had resolved to actually recognize the independence of Israel provided that Washington should receive a request regarding this recognition.

At Six o'clock exactly, according to Washington time, it was declared the end of the British Mandate on Palestine. At one minute past Six, the establishment of the State of Israel was declared. At eleven minutes past six, the USA recognized the State of Israel.

 
 
 
Source:Palestinian National Information Center
 
 

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