Mandatory Palestine

Background and Establishment of Institutions
– Palestine is the name given to the Mandate’s territory.
– The Mandate charter stipulated that Mandatory Palestine would have three official languages: English, Arabic, and Hebrew.
– The headquarters and official residence of the British High Commissioners were located in Jerusalem.
– Sir Herbert Samuel, a Zionist, became the first High Commissioner.
– Mohammad Amin al-Husseini, appointed as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, played a key role in violent opposition to Zionism.
– The 1922 Palestine Order in Council established a Legislative Council with limited representation for different religious groups.
– The Supreme Muslim Council controlled significant funds and Islamic courts in Palestine.
– The Jewish Agency had a larger annual budget compared to the funds controlled by the Supreme Muslim Council.
– The Council’s control over funds and appointments gave them significant influence in Palestine.

Arab Armed Insurgency in the 1930s
– Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam organized the Black Hand, an anti-Zionist and anti-British militant organization.
– The Black Hand used bombs and firearms against Zionist settlers and vandalized their properties.
– Al-Qassam was killed in a battle with British colonial police in 1935, generating outrage in the Arab community.
– The Arab revolt broke out in 1936, led by the Arab Higher Committee and Amin al-Husseini.
– Jewish communities were attacked, and British forces, supported by Jewish auxiliary police, suppressed the riots.

Partition Proposals and Rejection
– The Peel Commission proposed a partition plan in 1937, which was rejected by the Arabs.
– Jewish leaders, such as Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion, saw partition as a first step towards possessing the land as a whole.
– The British White Paper of 1939 proposed restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchases.
– The White Paper was seen as a betrayal of the mandatory terms by the Yishuv (Jewish community).
– The rejection of partition proposals and the White Paper radicalized segments of the Jewish population.

Allied and Axis activity during the Second World War
– Kingdom of Italy declared war on the British Empire and sided with Nazi Germany.
– Italians attacked Palestine, bombing Tel Aviv and Haifa.
– German forces of General Erwin Rommel advanced towards the Suez Canal, raising fear of conquering Palestine.
– Nazi encouragement of Arab support as a counter to British hegemony.
– Grand Mufti of Jerusalem received telegrams of support from Heinrich Himmler and Joachim von Ribbentrop.
– British government established a Jewish Brigade within the British Army.
– Jewish Brigade stationed in Tarvisio, played a key role in helping Jews escape Europe for Palestine.
– Platoon from Palestine Regiment sent to join Allied forces on the Italian Front.
– Multiethnic force assembled by the British, including European Jewish refugees, Yemenite Jews, and Abyssinian Jews.
– Veterans of the Jewish Brigade played a major role in the foundation of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

After the Second World War: Insurgency and the Partition Plan
– Jewish underground forces united to form the Jewish Resistance Movement.
– Irgun blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 92 people.
– Lehi assassinated Count Bernadotte, the UN mediator, in Jerusalem.
– Mandate became widely unpopular in Britain and the United States Congress delayed granting loans.
– British announced desire to terminate the mandate and withdraw by August 1948.
– Committee approved immediate acceptance of 100,000 Jewish refugees into Palestine.
– No Arab and no Jewish state recommended.
– Principle of no domination between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.
– Palestinian Arab leadership and population rejected partition plan.
– Resolution recommended adoption and implementation of Partition Plan.
– US and Soviet Union supported the resolution.
– Arab League members.Sources: