Map A) Tel Aviv Jaffa British Palestine Map Ww 2 1942 In Graet Unused Condition For Sale
A) Tel aviv jaffa British palestine map WW 2 1942 in graet unused condition
This listing is for the map as shown above british military from 1942
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This article is about the city in Israel. For other uses, see Tel Aviv (disambiguation).
From left to right: Tel Aviv skyline at sunset, Azrieli Center, Dizengoff Square, Jaffa Clock Tower, Beach view from the Old City
Coat of arms
"The White City"
"The City That Never Sleeps"
Location in Israel
Coordinates: 32°4′N 34°47′E
20 April 1909
Tel Aviv municipality
Ron Huldai (Labor)
2nd in Israel
12th in Israel
+972 (Israel) 3 (City)
Tel Aviv (Hebrew: ???????????; Arabic: ?? ????) is the second most populous city and the largest metropolitan area in Israel. It has a population of 410,000 and a land area of 52km2 (20sqmi). The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in central-west Israel, in Gush Dan, Israel's largest metropolitan area, containing 42% of Israel's population. It is also the largest and most populous city in Gush Dan, which is collectively home to 3,405,000 residents. The city is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, headed by Ron Huldai. Residents of Tel Aviv are referred to as Tel Avivim (singular: Tel Avivi). As the United Nations and most countries do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Tel Aviv is home to many foreign embassies.
Tel Aviv was founded by the Jewish community on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa (Hebrew: ????? Yafo; Arabic: ???? Yafa) in 1909. Jewish immigration meant that the growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced Jaffa, which had a majority Arab population at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings.
Tel Aviv is an economic hub, home to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, corporate offices and research and development centers. It is the country's financial capital and a major performing arts and business center. Tel Aviv has the second-largest economy in the Middle East after Dubai, and is the 31st most expensive city in the world. With 2.5 million international visitors annually, Tel Aviv is the fifth-most-visited city in the Middle East and Africa. It is known as "the city that never sleeps" and a "party capital" due to its thriving nightlife, young atmosphere and famous 24-hour culture.
2.2 Ahuzat Bayit
2.3 Under the British Mandate
2.4 After Israeli independence
2.4.1 Arab–Israeli conflict
4 Local government
4.2 City council
7.2 High-rise construction and towers
9 Culture and contemporary life
9.1 Entertainment and performing arts
9.2 Tourism and recreation
9.5 LGBT culture
10 Environment and urban restoration
11 Electric cars
12.1 Bus and taxi
12.5 Light rail
13 Twin towns and sister cities
14 Notable people born in Tel Aviv
17 External links
Tel Aviv is the Hebrew title of Theodor Herzl's Altneuland ("Old New Land"), translated from German by Nahum Sokolow. Sokolow had adopted the name of a Mesopotamian site in Ezekiel 3:15: "Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel Abib, that lived by the river Chebar, and to where they lived; and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days."; The name was chosen in 1910 from several suggestions, including "Herzliya". It was found fitting as it embraced the idea of a renaissance in the ancient Jewish homeland. Aviv is Hebrew for "spring", symbolizing renewal, and tel is a man-made mound accumulating layers of civilization built one over the other and symbolizing the ancient.
Theories vary about the etymology of Jaffa or Yafo in Hebrew. Some believe that the name derives from yafah or yofi, Hebrew for "beautiful" or "beauty". Another tradition is that Japheth, son of Noah, founded the city and that it was named after him.
Port of Jaffa in 1906
Lottery for building plots in Tel Aviv, 1909
The ancient port of Jaffa changed hands many times in the course of history. Archeological excavations from 1955 to 1974 unearthed towers and gates from the Middle Bronze Age. Subsequent excavations, from 1997 onwards, helped date earlier discoveries. They also exposed sections of a packed-sandstone glacis and a massive brick wall, dating from the Late Bronze Age, as well as a temple attributed to the Sea Peoples and dwellings from the Iron Age. Remnants of buildings from the Persian and Hellenistic periods were also discovered.
The city, Jaffa, is first mentioned in letters from 1470 BC that record its conquest by Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III. Jaffa is mentioned several times in the Bible, as the port from which Jonah set sail for Tarshish; as bordering on the territory of the Tribe of Dan; and as the Jaffa Port at which the wood for Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem arrived from Lebanon. Jaffa is also mentioned as the place where the Apostle Peter raised Tabitha and visited Simon the Tanner. According to some sources it has been a port for at least 4,000years.
In 1099, the Catholic armies of the First Crusade, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, occupied Jaffa, which had been abandoned by the Muslims, fortified the town and improved its harbor. As the County of Jaffa, the town soon became important as the main sea supply route for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Jaffa was captured by Saladin in 1192 but swiftly re-taken by Richard the Lionheart, who added to its defenses. In 1223, Emperor Frederick II added further fortifications. Crusader domination ended in 1268, when the Mamluk Sultan Baibars captured the town, destroyed its harbor and razed its fortifications. In 1336, when a new Crusade was being planned, Al-Nasir Muhammad had the harbor destroyed to prevent the Franks from landing there. For the same reason, both the town and the harbor were destroyed in 1345. In the 16thcentury, Jaffa was conquered by the Ottomans and was administered as a village in the Sanjak of Gaza.
Napoleon besieged the city in 1799 and killed scores of inhabitants; a plague epidemic followed, decimating the remaining population. The surrendering garrison of several thousand Muslims was massacred.
Builder in Tel Aviv, 1920s
Jaffa began to grow as an urban center in the early 18th century, when the Ottoman government in Istanbul intervened to guard the port and reduce attacks by Bedouins and pirates. However, the real expansion came during the 19th century, when the population grew from 2,500 in 1806 to 17,000 in 1886.
From 1800 to 1870, many of Jaffa's old walls and towers were torn down to allow for expansion. The sea wall, 2.5 metres (8.2ft) high, remained intact until the 1930s, when it was built over during a renovation of the port by the British Mandatory authorities. During the mid-19th century, the city grew prosperous from trade, especially in silk and Jaffa oranges, with Europe. In the 1860s Jaffa's small Sephardic community was joined by Jews from Morocco and small numbers of Ashkenazi Jews.
The first Jews to settle outside of Jaffa, in the area of modern day Tel Aviv, were Yemenite Jews. These homes, built in 1881, later became the core of Kerem HaTeimanim (Hebrew for "the Vineyard of the Yemenites"). In 1896 Yemenite Jews established homes at Mahane Yehuda, and in 1904, Mahane Yossef. These neighbourhoods later became the Shabazi neighbourhood.
During the 1880s, Ashkenazi immigration to Jaffa increased with the onset of the First Aliyah. The new arrivals were motivated more by Zionism than religion and came to farm the land and engage in productive labor. In keeping with their "pioneer" ideology, some settled in the sand dunes north of Jaffa. Between 1887 and 1899, Ashkenazi settlers constructed houses at Neve Tzedek and in 1890 at Neve Shalom nearby.
The Second Aliyah led to further expansion. In 1906, a group of Jews, among them residents of Jaffa, followed the initiative of Akiva Arye Weiss and banded together to form the Ahuzat Bayit (lit. "homestead") society. The society's goal was to form a "Hebrew urban centre in a healthy environment, planned according to the rules of aesthetics and modern hygiene."[unreliable source] The urban planning for the new city was influenced by the Garden city movement. The first 60 plots were purchased in Kerem Djebali near Jaffa by Jacobus Kann, a Dutch citizen, who registered them in his name to circumvent the Turkish prohibition on Jewish land acquisition. Meir Dizengoff, later Tel Aviv's first mayor, also joined the Ahuzat Bayit society. His vision for Tel Aviv involved peaceful co-existence with Arabs.[unreliable source]
Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium in 1936
In April 1909, 66 Jewish families gathered on a desolate sand dune to parcel out the land by lottery using seashells. This gathering is considered the official date of the establishment of Tel Aviv. The lottery was organised by Akiva Arye Weiss, president of the building society. Weiss collected 120 sea shells on the beach, half of them white and half of them grey. The members' names were written on the white shells and the plot numbers on the grey shells. A boy drew names from one box of shells and a girl drew plot numbers from the second box. A photographer, Avraham Soskin, documented the event. The first water well was later dug at this site (today Rothschild Boulevard, across from Dizengoff House). Within a year, Herzl, Ahad Ha'am, Yehuda Halevi, Lilienblum, and Rothschild streets were built; a water system was installed; and 66houses (including some on six subdivided plots) were completed. At the end of Herzl Street, a plot was allocated for a new building for the Herzliya Hebrew High School, founded in Jaffa in 1906. On 21 May 1910, the name Tel Aviv was adopted. Tel Aviv was planned as an independent Hebrew city with wide streets and boulevards, running water at each house and street lights.
By 1914, Tel Aviv had grown to more than 1 square kilometre (247acres). However, growth halted in 1917 when the Ottoman authorities expelled the Jews of Jaffa and Tel Aviv. A report published in The New York Times by United States Consul Garrels in Alexandria, Egypt described the Jaffa deportation of early April 1917. The orders of evacuation were aimed chiefly at the Jewish population. Jews were free to return to their homes in Tel Aviv at the end of the following year when, with the end of World War I and the defeat of the Ottomans, the British took control of Palestine.
Under the British Mandate
Master plan for Tel Aviv by Patrick Geddes, 1925
the British pavilion in the Orient Fair, 1934
With increasing Jewish immigration during the British administration, friction between Arabs and Jews in Palestine increased. On 1 May 1921, the Jaffa Riots resulted in the deaths of 48 Arabs and 47 Jews and injuries to 146 Jews and 73 Arabs. In the wake of this violence, many Jews left Jaffa for Tel Aviv, increasing the population of Tel Aviv from 2,000 in 1920 to around 34,000 by 1925. Tel Aviv began to develop as a commercial center. In 1925, the Scottish biologist, sociologist, philanthropist and pioneering town planner Patrick Geddes drew up a master plan for Tel Aviv which was adopted by the city council led by Meir Dizengoff. This first plan for developing the northern part of the district was called "The Geddes Plan",[unreliable source] whose core idea was the development of a Garden City or "urban village," combining the best of urban and rural life. The boundaries used by Geddes, the Yarkon River in the North and Ibn Gvirol Street in the East, are now the boundaries of Tel Aviv's Old North.
Ben Gurion House was built in 1930–31, part of a new worker's housing development. At the same time, Jewish cultural life was given a boost by the establishment of the Ohel Theater and the decision of Habima Theatre to make Tel Aviv its permanent base in 1931.
Tel Aviv was granted municipal status in 1934. The Jewish population rose dramatically during the Fifth Aliyah after the Nazis came to power in Germany. By 1937 the Jewish population of Tel Aviv had risen to 150,000, compared to Jaffa's mainly Palestinians 69,000residents. Within two years, it had reached 160,000, which was over a third of Palestine's total Jewish population. Many new Jewish immigrants to Palestine disembarked in Jaffa, and remained in Tel Aviv, turning the city into a center of urban life. Friction during the 1936–39 Arab revolt, led to the opening of a local Jewish port, Tel Aviv Port, independent of Jaffa, in 1938, (it closed on 25 October 1965). Lydda Airport (later Ben Gurion Airport) and Sde Dov Airport opened between 1937 and 1938.[unreliable source]
Many German Jewish architects trained at the Bauhaus, the Modernist school of architecture fled Germany. Some, like architect Arieh Sharon, came to Palestine and adapted the architectural outlook of the Bauhaus as well as other similar schools, to local conditions, creating what is recognized as the largest concentration of buildings in the International Style in the world.[unreliable source] Tel Aviv's White City emerged in the 1930s, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Tel Aviv was hit during the Italian Bombing of Palestine in World War II. On 9 September 1940, 137 were killed in the bombing of Tel Aviv.
According to the 1947 UN Partition Plan for dividing Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Tel Aviv, by then a city of 230,000, was included in the new Jewish state. Jaffa with, as of 1945, a population of 101,580 people, consisting of 53,930 Muslims, 30,820 Jews and 16,800 Christians, was designated as part of the Arab state. The Palestinian Arabs, however, rejected the plan.[unreliable source] Between 1947 and 1948, tensions grew between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. When fighting broke out, the Haganah and Irgun Jewish para-military forces laid virtual siege to Jaffa.[unreliable source] Arab snipers were reported firing at Jews from the minarets of the Hassan Bek Mosque. From April 1948, the Palestinians residents of Jaffa were forced to flee. By the time Jaffa had been captured by Jewish forces on 14 May, few Palestinian Arabs remained.[unreliable source]
After Israeli independence
Crowd outside Dizengoff House (now Independence Hall) to hear declaration and signing of Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948
When Israel declared Independence on 14 May 1948, the population of Tel Aviv was over 200,000. Tel Aviv was the temporary government center of the State of Israel until the government moved to Jerusalem in December 1949. Due to the international dispute over the status of Jerusalem, most foreign embassies remained in or near Tel Aviv. In the early 1980s, 13 embassies in Jerusalem moved to Tel Aviv as part of the UN's measures responding to Israel's 1980 Jerusalem Law. Today, all national embassies are in Tel Aviv or environs. The boundaries of Tel Aviv and Jaffa became a matter of contention between the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli government in 1948. The former wished to incorporate only the northern Jewish suburbs of Jaffa, while the latter wanted a more complete unification. The issue also had international sensitivity, since the main part of Jaffa was in the Arab portion of the United Nations Partition Plan, whereas Tel Aviv was not, and no armistice agreements had yet been signed. On 10 December 1948, the government announced the annexation to Tel Aviv of Jaffa's Jewish suburbs, the Palestinians neighborhood of Abu Kabir, the e Palestinians village of Salama and some of its agricultural land, and the Jewish 'Hatikva' slum. On 25 February 1949, the abandoned Palestinians village of al-Shaykh Muwannis was also annexed to Tel Aviv. On 18 May 1949, Manshiya and part of Jaffa's central zone were added, for the first time including land that had been in the Arab portion of the UN partition plan. The government voted on the unification of Tel Aviv and Jaffa on 4 October 1949, but the decision was not implemented until 24 April 1950 due to the opposition of Tel Aviv mayor Israel Rokach. The name of the unified city was Tel Aviv until 19 August 1950, when it was renamed Tel Aviv-Yafo in order to preserve the historical name Jaffa.
Tel Aviv thus grew to 42 square kilometers (16.2sqmi). In 1949, a memorial to the 60founders of Tel Aviv was constructed. Over the past 60years, Tel Aviv has developed into a secular, liberal-minded center with a vibrant nightlife and café culture.[unreliable source]
In the 1960s, some of the older buildings were demolished, making way for the country's first high-rises. Shalom Meir Tower was Israel's tallest building until 1999. Tel Aviv's population peaked in the early 1960s at 390,000, representing 16percent of the country's total. A long period of steady decline followed, however, and by the late 1980s the city had an aging population of 317,000. High property prices pushed families out and deterred young people from moving in. At this time, gentrification began in the poor neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv, and the old port in the north was renewed.[unreliable source] New laws were introduced to protect Modernist buildings, and efforts to preserve them were aided by UNESCO recognition of the Tel Aviv's White City as a world heritage site. In the early 1990s, the decline in population was reversed, partly due to the large wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Tel Aviv also began to emerge as a high-tech center.[unreliable source] The construction of many skyscrapers and high-tech office buildings followed. In 1993, Tel Aviv was categorized as a world city. The city is regarded as a strong candidate for global city status.
A Bauhaus street café in Florentin, Tel Aviv.
In the Gulf War in 1991, Tel Aviv was attacked by Scud missiles from Iraq. Iraq hoped to provoke an Israeli military response, which could have destroyed the US–Arab alliance. The United States pressured Israel not to retaliate, and after Israel acquiesced, the US and Netherlands rushed Patriot missiles to defend against the attacks, but they proved largely ineffective. Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities continued to be hit by Scuds throughout the war, and every city in the Tel Aviv area except for Bnei Brak was hit. A total of 74 Israelis died as a result of the Iraqi attacks, mostly from suffocation and heart attacks, while approximately 230 Israelis were injured. Extensive property damage was also caused, and some 4,000 Israelis were left homeless. It was feared that Iraq would fire missiles filled with nerve agents or sarin. As a result, the Israeli government issued gas masks to its citizens. When the first Iraqi missiles hit Israel, some people injected themselves with an antidote for nerve gas. The inhabitants of the southEastern suburb of HaTikva erected an angel-monument as a sign of their gratitude that "it was through a great miracle, that many people were preserved from being killed by a direct hit of a Scud rocket."
On 4 November 1995, Israel's prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated at a rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo peace accord. The outdoor plaza where this occurred, formerly known as Kikar Malchei Yisrael, was renamed Rabin Square.[unreliable source]
In 2009, Tel Aviv celebrated its official centennial. In addition to city- and country-wide celebrations, digital collections of historical materials were assembled. These include the History section of the official Tel Aviv-Yafo Centennial Year website; the Ahuzat Bayit collection, which focuses on the founding families of Tel Aviv, and includes photographs and biographies; and Stanford University's Eliasaf Robinson Tel Aviv Collection, documenting the history of the city.
Israel Air Force fly over Tel Aviv
Since the First Intifada, Tel Aviv has suffered from Palestinian political violence. The first suicide attack in Tel Aviv occurred on 19 October 1994, on the Line 5 bus, when a bomber killed 22 civilians and injured 50 as part of a Hamas suicide campaign. On 6 March 1996, another Hamas suicide bomber killed 13 people (12 civilians and 1 soldier) in the Dizengoff Center suicide bombing. Three women were killed by a Hamas terrorist in the Café Apropo bombing on 27 March 1997.
One of the most deadly attacks occurred on 1 June 2001, during the Second Intifada, when a suicide bomber exploded at the entrance to the Dolphinarium discothèque, killing 21, mostly teenagers, and injuring 132. Another Hamas suicide bomber killed six civilians and injured 70 in the Allenby Street bus bombing. Twenty-three civilians were killed and over 100 injured in the Tel-Aviv central bus station massacre. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. In the Mike's Place suicide bombing, an attack on a bar by a British Muslim suicide bomber resulted in the deaths of three civilians and wounded over 50. Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed joint responsibility. An Islamic Jihad bomber killed five and wounded over 50 in the 25 February 2005 Stage Club bombing. The most recent suicide attack in the city occurred on 17 April 2006, when 11 people were killed and at least 70 wounded in a suicide bombing near the old central bus station.
Another attack took place on 29 August 2011 in which a Palestinian attacker stole an Israeli taxi cab and rammed it into a police checkpoint guarding the popular Haoman 17 nightclub in Tel Aviv which was filled with 2,000 Israeli teenagers. After crashing, the assailant went on a stabbing spree, injuring eight people. Due to an Israel Border Police roadblock at the entrance and immediate response of the Border Police team during the subsequent stabbings, a much larger and fatal mass-casualty incident was avoided.
On 21 November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Tel Aviv area was targeted by rockets, and air raid sirens were sounded in the city for the first time since the Gulf War. All of the rockets either missed populated areas or were shot down by an Iron Dome rocket defense battery stationed near the city. During the operation, a bomb blast on a bus wounded at least 28 civilians, three seriously. This was described as a terrorist attack by Israel, Russia, and the United States and was condemned by the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia, whilst Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri declared that the organisation "blesses" the attack.
Tel Aviv seen from space
Tel Aviv is located around 32°5′N 34°48′E on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline, in central Israel, the historic land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. Immediately north of the ancient port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv lies on land that used to be sand dunes and as such has relatively poor soil fertility. The land has been flattened and has no important gradients; its most notable geographical features are bluffs above the Mediterranean coastline and the Yarkon River mouth. Because of the expansion of Tel Aviv and the Gush Dan region, absolute borders between Tel Aviv and Jaffa and between the city's neighborhoods do not exist.
The city is located 60 kilometers (37mi) northwest of Jerusalem and 90 kilometers (56mi) south of the city of Haifa. Neighboring cities and towns include Herzliya to the north, Ramat HaSharon to the northeast, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Giv'atayim to the east, Holon to the southeast, and Bat Yam to the south. The city is economically stratified between the north and south. Southern Tel Aviv is generally reputed to be poorer than Northern Tel Aviv with the exception of Neve Tzedek and some recent development on Jaffa beach. Central Tel Aviv is home to Azrieli Center and the important financial and commerce district along Ayalon Highway. The northern side of Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University, Hayarkon Park, and upscale residential neighborhoods such as Ramat Aviv and Afeka.
Tel Aviv has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa) with mild rainy winters and hot dry summers. Humidity tends to be high year-round due to sea breeze. In winter, average temperatures typically range from 9 °C (48°F) to 17 °C (63°F). In summer, average temperatures typically range from 24 °C (75°F) to 30 °C (86°F). Heatwaves are most common during spring, with temperatures as high as 35 °C (95°F). There are barely any days in the year without sunshine, and even during the winter there are many clear days.
Tel Aviv averages 532 millimeters (20.9in) of precipitation annually, which mostly occurs in the months of October through April. Winter is the wettest season, often accompanied by heavy showers and thunderstorms. Snow is extremely rare, with the last recorded snowfall within city limits occurring in February 1950. The rainiest month on record was January 2000 with 324.9mm (12.79in). The rainiest day on record was 8 November 1955 with 133mm (5.24in). However, Tel Aviv enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year with more than 300sunny days annually. In 2013 most part of the city has been flooded by a heavy storm that occurred at the beginning of January
[hide]Climate data for Tel Aviv (1916–2007)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Rainfall mm (inches)
Avg. rainy days
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Israel Meteorological Service
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory for data of sunshine hours
Tel Aviv mean sea temperature
18 °C (64°F)
17 °C (63°F)
17 °C (63°F)
18 °C (64°F)
21 °C (70°F)
24 °C (75°F)
26 °C (79°F)
28 °C (82°F)
27 °C (81°F)
26 °C (79°F)
23 °C (73°F)
20 °C (68°F)
Rabin Square and Tel Aviv City Hall looking northwest
Tel Aviv is governed by a 31-member city council elected for a five-year term in direct proportional elections. All Israeli citizens over the age of 18 with at least one year of residence in Tel Aviv are eligible to vote in municipal elections. The municipality is responsible for social services, community programs, public infrastructure, urban planning, tourism and other local affairs. The Tel Aviv City Hall is located at Rabin Square. Ron Huldai has been mayor of Tel Aviv since 1998. Huldai was reelected in the 2008 municipal elections, defeating Dov Henin's list. The longest serving mayor was Shlomo Lahat, who was in office for 19years. The shortest serving was David Bloch, in office for two years, 1925–27. Outside the kibbutzim, Meretz receives more votes in Tel Aviv than in any other city in Israel.
Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv since 1998.
Mayors of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv 1
The coalition is led by Tel Aviv 1 and consists of 23 of 31 seats.
Tel Aviv City Council, 2008
Tel Aviv 1
City for All
Power for Pensioners
United Torah Judaism
Latet Lihyot – Let Live
The Vladimir Schreiber Institute of Mathematics in Tel Aviv University
In 2006, 51,359children attended school in Tel Aviv, of whom 8,977were in municipal kindergartens, 23,573 in municipal elementary schools, and 18,809 in high schools. Sixty-four percent of students in the city are entitled to matriculation, more than 5 percent higher than the national average. About 4,000 children are in first grade at schools in the city, and population growth is expected to raise this number to 6,000 by 2012. As a result, 20additional kindergarten classes were opened in 2008–09 in the city. A new elementary school is planned north of Sde Dov as well as a new high school in northern Tel Aviv.
The first Hebrew high school, called Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium, was built in 1905 on Herzl Street.
Tel Aviv University, the largest university in Israel, is known internationally for its physics, computer science, chemistry and linguistics departments. Together with Bar-Ilan University in neighboring Ramat Gan, the student population numbers over 50,000, including a sizeable international community. Its campus is located in the neighborhood of Ramat Aviv. Tel Aviv also has several colleges. The Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium moved from Jaffa to Tel Aviv in 1909. The school continues to operate, although it has moved to Jabotinsky Street. Other notable schools in Tel Aviv include Shevah Mofet, the second Hebrew school in the city, Ironi Alef High School for Arts and Alliance.
Tel Aviv has a population of 410,000 spread over a land area of 52,000 dunams (52.0km2) (20mi²), yielding a population density of 7,606 people per square kilometer (19,699 per square mile). According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), as of 2009 Tel Aviv's population is growing at an annual rate of 0.5 percent. Jews of all backgrounds form 91.8 percent of the population, Muslims and Arab Christians make up 4.2 percent, and the remainder belong to other groups (including various Christian and Asian communities). As Tel Aviv is a multicultural city, many languages are spoken in addition to Hebrew. According to some estimates, about 50,000 unregistered Asian foreign workers live in the city. Compared with Westernised cities, crime in Tel Aviv is relatively low.
According to Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, the average income in the city, which has an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent, is 20 percent above the national average. The city's education standards are above the national average: of its 12th-grade students, 64.4 percent are eligible for matriculation certificates. The age profile is relatively even, with 22.2 percent aged under 20, 18.5 percent aged 20–29, 24 percent aged 30–44, 16.2 percent aged between 45 and 59, and 19.1 percent older than 60.
Tel Aviv's population reached a peak in the early 1960s at around 390,000, falling to 317,000 in the late 1980s as high property prices forced families out and deterred young couples from moving in. Since the mass immigration from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, population has steadily grown. Today, the city's population is young and growing. In 2006, 22,000people moved to the city, while only 18,500 left, and many of the new families had young children. The population is expected to reach 450,000 by 2025; meanwhile, the average age of residents fell from 35.8 in 1983 to 34 in 2008. The population over age 65 stands at 14.6 percent compared with 19% in 1983.
The Great Synagogue
Tel Aviv has 544 active synagogues, including historic buildings such as the Great Synagogue, established in the 1930s. In 2008, a center for secular Jewish Studies and a secular yeshiva opened in the city. Tensions between religious and secular Jews before the gay pride parade ended in vandalism of a synagogue. The number of churches has grown to accommodate the religious needs of diplomats and foreign workers. The population consists of 93% Jewish, 1% Muslim, and 1% Christian. The remaining 5 percent are not classified by religion. Israel Meir Lau is chief rabbi of the city.
Tel Aviv is an ethnically diverse city. The Jewish population, which forms the majority group in Tel Aviv consists of immigrants from all parts of the world and their descendants, including Ashkenazi Jews from Europe, North America, South America and South Africa, as well as Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews from Southern Europe, North Africa, India, Central Asia, West Asia,and the Arabian Peninsula. There are also a sizable number of Ethiopian Jews and their descendants living in Tel Aviv. In addition to Muslim and Arab Christian minorities in the city, several hundred Armenian Christians who reside in the city are concentrated mainly in Jaffa and some Christians from the former Soviet Union who immigrated to Israel with Jewish spouses and relatives. In recent years, Tel Aviv has received many non-Jewish migrants, students, foreign workers (documented and undocumented) and refugees. There are many refugees from African countries located in the southern part of the city.
Kerem HaTeimanim is a predominantly Yemenite Jewish neighborhood in the center of Tel Aviv
Further information: Neighborhoods of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is divided into nine districts that have formed naturally over the city's short history. The oldest of these is Jaffa, the ancient port city out of which Tel Aviv grew. This area is traditionally made up demographically of a greater percentage of Arabs, but recent gentrification is replacing them with a young professional and artist population. Similar processes are occurring in nearby Neve Tzedek, the original Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa. Ramat Aviv, a district in the northern part of the city that is largely made up of luxury apartments and includes Tel Aviv University, is currently undergoing extensive expansion and is set to absorb the beachfront property of Sde Dov Airport after its decommissioning. The area known as HaKirya is the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) headquarters and a large military base.
Historically, there was a demographic split between the Ashkenazi northern side of the city, including the district of Ramat Aviv, and the southern, more Sephardi and Mizrahi neighborhoods including Neve Tzedek and Florentin.[unreliable source]
Since the 1980s, major restoration and gentrification projects have been implemented in southern Tel Aviv.[unreliable source] Baruch Yoscovitz, city planner for Tel Aviv beginning in 2001, reworked old British plans for the Florentin neighborhood from the 1920s, adding green areas, pedestrian malls, and housing. The municipality invested 2 million shekels in the project. The goal was to make Florentin the Soho of Tel Aviv, and attract artists and young professionals. Florentin is now known as a hip, "cool" place to be in Tel Aviv with coffeehouses, markets, bars, galleries and parties.
View of Tel Aviv from Azrieli Center
1930s Bauhaus (left) and 1920s Eclectic (right) architecture styles
Tel Aviv is home to different architectural styles that represent influential periods in its history. The early architecture of Tel Aviv consisted largely of European-style single-story houses with red-tiled roofs. Neve Tzedek, the first neighborhood to be constructed outside of Jaffa is characterised by two-story sandstone buildings. By the 1920s, a new eclectic Orientalist style came into vogue, combining European architecture with Eastern features such as arches, domes and ornamental tiles. Municipal construction followed the "garden city" master plan drawn up by Patrick Geddes. Two- and three-story buildings were interspersed with boulevards and public parks. Various architectural styles, such as Art Deco, classical and modernist also exist in Tel Aviv.
Main article: Bauhaus
Classical Bauhaus architecture, part of the White City
Bauhaus architecture was introduced in the 1920s and 1930s by German Jewish architects who settled in Palestine after the rise of the Nazis. Tel Aviv's White City, around the city center, contains more than 5,000Modernist-style buildings inspired by the Bauhaus school and Le Corbusier. Construction of these buildings, later declared protected landmarks and, collectively, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, continued until the 1950s in the area around Rothschild Boulevard. Some 3,000 buildings were created in this style between 1931 and 1939 alone. In the 1960s, this architectural style gave way to office towers and a chain of waterfront hotels and commercial skyscrapers. Some of the city's Modernist buildings were neglected to the point of ruin. Before legislation to preserve this landmark architecture, many of the old buildings were demolished. Efforts are under way to refurbish Bauhaus buildings and restore them to their original condition.
High-rise construction and towers
See also: List of tallest buildings in Tel Aviv
The Azrieli Center complex contains the tallest skyscrapers in Tel Aviv
The Shalom Meir Tower, Israel's first skyscraper, was built in Tel Aviv in 1965 and remained the country's tallest building until 1999. At the time of its construction, the building rivalled Europe's tallest buildings in height, and was the tallest in the Middle East.
In the mid-1990s, the construction of skyscrapers began throughout the entire city, altering its skyline. Before that, Tel Aviv had had a generally low-rise skyline. However, the towers were not concentrated in certain areas, and were scattered at random locations throughout the city, creating a disjointed skyline.
New neighborhoods, such as Park Tzameret, have been constructed to house apartment towers such as YOO Tel Aviv towers, designed by Philippe Starck. Other districts, such as Sarona, have been developed with office towers. Other recent additions to Tel Aviv's skyline include the 1 Rothschild Tower and First International Bank Tower. As Tel Aviv celebrated its centennial in 2009, the city attracted a number of architects and developers, including I. M. Pei, Donald Trump, and Richard Meier. American journalist David Kaufman reported in New York magazine that since Tel Aviv "was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, gorgeous historic buildings from the Ottoman and Bauhaus era have been repurposed as fabulous hotels, eateries, boutiques, and design museums." In November 2009, Haaretz reported that Tel Aviv had 59 skyscrapers more than 100 meters tall. Currently, dozens of skyscrapers have been approved or are under construction throughout the city, and many more are planned.
The tallest building approved is the Egged Tower, which would become Israel's tallest building upon completion. According to current plans, the tower is planned to have 80 floors, rise to a height of 270 meters, and will have a 50-meter spire.
Bird's eye view from Moshe Aviv Tower
In 2010, the Tel Aviv Municipality's Planning and Construction Committee launched a new master plan for the city in 2025. It decided not to allow the construction of any additional skyscrapers in the city center, while at the same time greatly increasing the construction of skyscrapers in the east. The ban extends to an area between the coast and Ibn Gabirol Street, and also between the Yarkon River and Eilat Street. It did not extend to towers already approved and/or under construction. Any new buildings there will usually not be allowed to rise above six and a half stories. However, hotel towers along almost the entire beachfront will be allowed to rise up to 25 stories. The committee decided to approve one last skyscraper project in the city center, while dozens of other planned projects had to be scrapped. According to the plan, the entire area between Ibn Gabirol Street and the Eastern city limits would be "flooded" with skyscrapers and high-rise buildings at least 18 stories tall. Under the plan, "forests" of corporate skyscrapers will line both sides of the Ayalon Highway. Further south, skyscrapers rising up to 40 stories will be built along the old Ottoman railway between Neve Tzedek and Florentine, with the first such tower there being the Neve Tzedek Tower. Along nearby Shlavim Street, passing between Jaffa and south Tel Aviv, office buildings up to 25 stories will line both sides of the street, which will be widened to accommodate traffic from the city's southern entrance to the center.
In November 2012, it was announced that to encourage investment in the city's architecture, residential towers throughout Tel Aviv would be extended in height. Buildings in Jaffa and the southern and Eastern districts may have two and a half stories added, while those on Ibn Gabirol Street might be extended by seven and a half stories.
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This article is about the geopolitical entity created in Palestine under British administration. For the Mandate instrument passed by the League of Nations granting Britain a mandate over Palestine and Transjordan, see British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument).
Mandate ofthe United Kingdom
League of Nations Mandate
Sir Herbert Louis Samuel
Sir Alan G. Cunningham
Interwar period· World War II
25 April 1920
Britain officially assumes control
29 September 1923
Israel declared independent
14 May 1948
Egyptian pound (until 1927)
Palestine pound (from 1927)
Today part of
Mandatory Palestine (English: Palestine; Arabic: ?????? Filastin; Hebrew: ??????????????? (?"?) Palestína (EY), where "EY" indicates "Eretz Yisrael") 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 the First World War, General Edmund Allenby the British Empire commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force remained responsible for the territories, occupied during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. After the war ended a military administration, named Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, was established in the captured territory of the former Ottoman Syria. The British sought to set up legitimacy for their continued control of the region and this was achieved 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, while the land east of the Jordan was a semi-autonomous region known as Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from the Hijaz, and gained independence in 1946.
Through the British Mandate period, the area experienced the ascent of two major nationalist movements, one among the Jews and the other among the Arabs. Competition and collision of those nationalist movements have had a significant impact on the history of that period, with violence peaking especially high during the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 and the Civil War of 1947-1948. World War II had made little direct impact on life in Mandatory Palestine, but its indirect effects eventually led to the sectarian Civil War and eventual British evacuation.
The aftermath of the Civil War and the consequent Arab-Israeli War of 1948 led to the establishment of 1949 cease fire, with partition of the former Mandatory Palestine between the newborn Israel with Jewish majority, the West Bank annexed by Jordanian Kingdom and the Arab All-Palestine Government in Gaza Strip under military occupation of Egypt.
1 History of Palestine under the British Mandate
1.1 From military to civil administration
1.2 1930s: Arab resistance and armed insurgency
1.2.1 The Arab revolt
1.2.2 Partition proposals
1.3 World War II
1.3.1 Allied and Axis activity
1.3.3 The Holocaust and immigration quotas
1.3.4 Zionist insurgency
1.4 After World War II: the Partition Plan
1.5 Termination of the Mandate
2.2 Arab community
2.2.1 Palestinian Arab leadership and national aspirations
2.3 The Jewish Yishuv
2.3.1 Jewish immigration
2.3.2 Jewish national home
2.4 Land ownership
2.4.1 Land ownership by district
2.4.2 Land ownership by type
2.4.3 List of Mandatory land laws
3.1 British censuses and estimations
3.2 By district
4 Government and institutions
8 See also
12 Further reading
12.1 Primary sources
13 External links
History of Palestine under the British Mandate
From military to civil administration
The arrival of Sir Herbert Samuel. From left to right: T. E. Lawrence, Emir Abdullah, Air Marshal Sir Geoffrey Salmond, Sir Herbert Samuel, Sir Wyndham Deedes and others.
Following its occupation by British troops in 1917–1918, Palestine was governed by the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration. In July 1920, the military administration was replaced by a civilian administration headed by a High Commissioner. The first High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, arrived in Palestine on 20 June 1920, to take up his appointment from 1 July.
Following the arrival of the British, Muslim-Christian Associations were established in all the major towns. In 1919 they joined together to hold the first Palestine Arab Congress in Jerusalem. Its main platforms were a call for representative government and opposition to the Balfour Declaration.
The Zionist Commission was formed in March 1918 and was active in promoting Zionist objectives in Palestine. On 19 April 1920, elections were held for the Assembly of Representatives of the Palestinian Jewish community. The Zionist Commission received official recognition in 1922 as representative of the Palestinian Jewish community.
Samuel tried to establish self-governing institutions in Palestine, as required by the mandate, but was frustrated by the refusal of the Arab leadership to co-operate with any institution which included Jewish participation. When Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Kamil al-Husayni died in March 1921, High Commissioner Samuel appointed his half-brother Mohammad Amin al-Husayni to the position. Amin al-Husayni, a member of the al-Husayni clan of Jerusalem, was an Arab nationalist and Muslim leader. As Grand Mufti, as well as the other influential positions that he held during this period, al-Husayni played a key role in violent opposition to Zionism. In 1922, al-Husayni was elected President of the Supreme Muslim Council which had been created by Samuel in December 1921. The Council controlled the Waqf funds, worth annually tens of thousands of pounds and the orphan funds, worth annually about £50,000, as compared to the £600,000 in the Jewish Agency's annual budget. In addition, he controlled the Islamic courts in Palestine. Among other functions, these courts were entrusted with the power to appoint teachers and preachers.
The 1922 Palestine Order in Council established a Legislative Council, which was to consist of 23 members; 12 elected, 10 appointed and the High Commissioner. Of the 12 elected members, eight were to be Muslim Arabs, two Christian Arabs and two Jews. Arabs protested against the distribution of the seats, arguing that as they constituted 88% of the population, having only 43% of the seats was unfair. Elections were held in February and March 1923, but due to an Arab boycott, the results were annulled and a 12-member Advisory Council was established.
In October 1923, Britain provided the League of Nations with a report on the administration of Palestine for the period 1920–1922, which covered the period before the mandate.
1930s: Arab resistance and armed insurgency
In 1930, Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam arrived in Palestine and organised and established the Black Hand, an anti-Zionist and anti-British militant organisation. He recruited and arranged military training for peasants and by 1935 he had enlisted between 200 and 800 men. The cells were equipped with bombs and firearms, which they used to kill Zionist settlers in the area, as well as engaging in a campaign of vandalism of the settlers-planted trees and British constructed rail-lines. In November 1935, two of his men engaged in a firefight with a Palestine police patrol hunting fruit thieves and a policeman was killed. Following the incident, British police launched a manhunt and surrounded al-Qassam in a cave near Ya'bad. In the ensuing battle, al-Qassam was killed.
The Arab revolt
Arab resistance against the British.
Main article: 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
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Kingdom of Judah
Zionism and the State of Israel
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The death of al-Qassam in 1936 generated widespread outrage in the Arab community. Huge crowds accompanied Qassam's body to his grave in Haifa. A few months later, in April 1936, the Arab national general strike broke out. The strike lasted until October 1936, instigated by the Arab Higher Committee, headed by Amin al-Husseini. During the summer of that year, thousands of Jewish-farmed acres and orchards were destroyed, Jewish civilians were attacked and killed, and some Jewish communities, such as those in Beisan and Acre, fled to safer areas.(Gilbert 1998, p.80) The violence abated for about a year while the British sent the Peel Commission to investigate.(Khalidi 2006, pp.87–90)
During the first stages of the Arab Revolt, due to rivalry between the clans of al-Husseini and Nashashibi among the Palestinian Arabs, Raghib Nashashibi was forced to flee to Egypt after several assassination attempts ordered by the radical mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husayni.
Following the Arab rejection of the Peel Commission recommendation, the revolt resumed in autumn 1937. Over the next 18 months, the British lost control of Nablus and Hebron. British forces, supported by 6,000 armed Jewish auxiliary police, suppressed the widespread riots with overwhelming force. The British officer Charles Orde Wingate (who supported a Zionist revival for religious reasons) organised Special Night Squads composed of British soldiers and Jewish volunteers such as Yigal Alon, which "scored significant successes against the Arab rebels in the lower Galilee and in the Jezreel valley"(Black 1991, p.14) by conducting raids on Arab villages. (Shapira 1992, pp.247, 249, 350) The Jewish militia Irgun used violence also against Arab civilians as "retaliatory acts", attacking marketplaces and buses.
By the time the revolt concluded in March 1939, more than 5,000 Arabs, 400 Jews, and 200 Britons had been killed and at least 15,000 Arabs were wounded. The Revolt resulted in the deaths of 5,000 Palestinian Arabs and the wounding of 10,000. In total, 10% of the adult Arab male population was killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled.(Khalidi 2001, p.26) From 1936 to 1945, whilst establishing collaborative security arrangements with the Jewish Agency, the British confiscated 13,200 firearms from Arabs and 521 weapons from Jews.(Khalidi 1987, p.845)
The attacks on the Jewish population by Arabs had three lasting effects: First, they led to the formation and development of Jewish underground militias, primarily the Haganah, which were to prove decisive in 1948. Secondly, it became clear that the two communities could not be reconciled, and the idea of partition was born. Thirdly, the British responded to Arab opposition with the White Paper of 1939, which severely restricted Jewish land purchase and immigration. However, with the advent of World War II, even this reduced immigration quota was not reached. The White Paper policy also radicalised segments of the Jewish population, who after the war would no longer cooperate with the British.
The revolt had a negative effect on Palestinian Arab leadership, social cohesion, and military capabilities and contributed to the outcome of the 1948 War because "when the Palestinians faced their most fateful challenge in 1947–49, they were still suffering from the British repression of 1936–39, and were in effect without a unified leadership. Indeed, it might be argued that they were virtually without any leadership at all".(Khalidi 2001, p.28)
In 1937, the Peel Commission proposed a partition between a small Jewish state, whose Arab population would have to be transferred, and an Arab state to be attached to Jordan. The proposal was rejected by the Arabs. The two main Jewish leaders, Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion, had convinced the Zionist Congress to approve equivocally the Peel recommendations as a basis for more negotiation.
Following the London Conference (1939) the British Government published a White Paper which proposed a limit to Jewish immigration from Europe, restrictions on Jewish land purchases, and a program for creating an independent state to replace the Mandate within ten years. This was seen by the Yishuv as betrayal of the mandatory terms, especially in light of the increasing persecution of Jews in Europe. In response, Zionists organised Aliyah Bet, a program of illegal immigration into Palestine. Lehi, a small group of extremist Zionists, staged armed attacks on British authorities in Palestine. However, the Jewish Agency, which represented the mainstream Zionist leadership, still hoped to persuade Britain to allow resumed Jewish immigration, and cooperated with Britain in World War II.
World War II
Allied and Axis activity
Jewish Brigade headquarters under the Union Flag and Jewish flag.
On 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on the British Commonwealth and sided with Germany. Within a month, the Italians attacked Palestine from the air, bombing Tel Aviv and Haifa, inflicting multiple casualties.
In 1942, there was a period of great concern for the Yishuv, when the forces of German General Erwin Rommel advanced east in North Africa towards the Suez Canal and there was fear that they would conquer Palestine. This period was referred to as the two hundred days of anxiety. This event was the direct cause for the founding, with British support, of the Palmach – a highly-trained regular unit belonging to Haganah (a paramilitary group which was mostly made up of reserve troops).
As in most of the Arab world, there was no unanimity amongst the Palestinian Arabs as to their position regarding the combatants in World War II. A number of leaders and public figures saw an Axis victory as the likely outcome and a way of securing Palestine back from the Zionists and the British. Even though Arabs were not highly regarded by Nazi racial theory, the Nazis encouraged Arab support as a counter to British hegemony. SS-Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler was keen to exploit this, going so far as to enlist the aid of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, sending him the following telegram on 2 November 1943:
"'To the Grand Mufti: The National Socialist movement of Greater Germany has, since its inception, inscribed upon its flag the fight against the world Jewry. It has therefore followed with particular sympathy the struggle of freedom-loving Arabs, especially in Palestine, against Jewish interlopers. In the recognition of this enemy and of the common struggle against it lies the firm foundation of the natural alliance that exists between the National Socialist Greater Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims of the whole world. In this spirit I am sending you on the anniversary of the infamous Balfour declaration my hearty greetings and wishes for the successful pursuit of your struggle until the final victory – Reichsfuehrer S.S. Heinrich Himmler"
The Mufti al-Husseini would spend the rest of the war in Nazi Germany and the occupied areas in Europe.
On the other side, about 6,000 Palestinian Arabs and 30,000 Palestinian Jews joined the British forces, forming the Palestine Regiment.
On 3 July 1944, the British government consented to the establishment of a Jewish Brigade, with hand-picked Jewish and also non-Jewish senior officers. On 20 September 1944, an official communique by the War Office announced the formation of the Jewish Brigade Group of the British Army. The Jewish brigade then was stationed in Tarvisio, near the border triangle of Italy, Yugoslavia, and Austria, where it played a key role in the Berihah's efforts to help Jews escape Europe for Palestine, a role many of its members would continue after the brigade was disbanded. Among its projects was the education and care of the Selvino children. Later, veterans of the Jewish Brigade became key participants of the new State of Israel's Israel Defense Forces.
From Palestine Regiment, two platoons, one Jewish, under the command of Brigadier Ernest Benjamin, and another Arab were sent to join allied forces on the Italian Front, having taken part of final offensive there.
Besides Jews and Arabs from Palestine, in total by mid-1944 the British had assembled a multiethnic force consisting of volunteers European Jewish (refugees from German-occupied countries), Yeminites and Abyssinian Jews.
The Holocaust and immigration quotas
In 1939, as a consequence of the White Paper of 1939, the British reduced the number of immigrants allowed into Palestine. World War II and the Holocaust started shortly thereafter and once the 15,000 annual quota was exceeded, Jews fleeing Nazi persecution were interned in detention camps or deported to places such as Mauritius.
Starting in 1939, a clandestine immigration effort called Aliya Bet was spearheaded by an organisation called Mossad LeAliyah Bet. Tens of thousands of European Jews escaped the Nazis in boats and small ships headed for Palestine. The Royal Navy intercepted many of the vessels; others were unseaworthy and were wrecked; two more were sunk by Soviet submarines. The motor schooner Struma was torpedoed and sunk in the Black Sea by a Soviet submarine in February 1942 with the loss of nearly 800 lives. The last refugee boats to try to reach Palestine during the war were the Bulbul, Mefküre and Morina in August 1944. A Soviet submarine sank the motor schooner Mefküre by torpedo and shellfire and machine-gunned survivors in the water, killing between 300 and 400 refugees. Illegal immigration resumed after World War II.
After the war 250,000 Jewish refugees were stranded in displaced persons (DP) camps in Europe. Despite the pressure of world opinion, in particular the repeated requests of US President Harry S. Truman and the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry that 100,000 Jews be immediately granted entry to Palestine, the British maintained the ban on immigration.
The Jewish Lehi (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) and Irgun (National Military Organization) movements initiated violent uprisings against the British Mandate in 1940 and 1944 respectively. On 6 November 1944, Eliyahu Hakim and Eliyahu Bet Zuri (members of Lehi) assassinated Lord Moyne in Cairo. Moyne was the British Minister of State for the Middle East and the assassination is said by some to have turned British Prime Minister Winston Churchill against the Zionist cause. After the assassination of Lord Moyne, the Haganah kidnapped, interrogated, and turned over to the British many members of the Irgun ("The Hunting Season"), and the Jewish Agency Executive decided on a series of measures against "terrorist organizations" in Palestine. Irgun ordered its members not to resist or retaliate with violence, so as to prevent a civil war. The three main Jewish underground forces later united to form the Jewish Resistance Movement and carry out several terrorist attacks and bombings against the British administration. In 1946, the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the headquarters of the British administration, killing 92 people. Following the bombing, the British Government began interning illegal Jewish immigrants in Cyprus.
The negative publicity resulting from the situation in Palestine caused the mandate to become widely unpopular in Britain, and caused the United States Congress to delay granting the British vital loans for reconstruction. The British Labour party had promised before its election to allow mass Jewish migration into Palestine but reneged on this promise once in office. Anti-British Jewish terrorism increased and the situation required the presence of over 100,000 British troops in the country. Following the Acre Prison break and the retaliatory hanging of British Sergeants by the Irgun, the British announced their desire to terminate the mandate and withdraw by May 1948.
After World War II: the Partition Plan
The UN Partition Plan.
Main articles: 1947 UN Partition Plan and 1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946 was a joint attempt by Britain and the United States to agree on a policy regarding the admission of Jews to Palestine. In April, the Committee reported that its members had arrived at a unanimous decision. The Committee approved the American recommendation of the immediate acceptance of 100,000 Jewish refugees from Europe into Palestine. It also recommended that there be no Arab, and no Jewish State. The Committee stated that "in order to dispose, once and for all, of the exclusive claims of Jews and Arabs to Palestine, we regard it as essential that a clear statement of principle should be made that Jew shall not dominate Arab and Arab shall not dominate Jew in Palestine." U.S. President Harry S. Truman angered the British Labour Party by issuing a statement supporting the 100,000 refugees but refusing to acknowledge the rest of the committee's findings. Britain had asked for U.S assistance in implementing the recommendations. The U.S. War Department had said earlier that to assist Britain in maintaining order against an Arab revolt, an open-ended U.S. commitment of 300,000 troops would be necessary. The immediate admission of 100,000 new Jewish immigrants would almost certainly have provoked an Arab uprising.
These events were the decisive factors that forced Britain to announce their desire to terminate the Palestine Mandate and place the Question of Palestine before the United Nations, the successor to the League of Nations. The UN created UNSCOP (the UN Special Committee on Palestine) on 15 May 1947, with representatives from 11 countries. UNSCOP conducted hearings and made a general survey of the situation in Palestine, and issued its report on 31 August. Seven members (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, and Uruguay) recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states, with Jerusalem to be placed under international administration. Three members (India, Iran, and Yugoslavia) supported the creation of a single federal state containing both Jewish and Arab constituent states. Australia abstained.
On 29 November, the UN General Assembly, voting 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions, adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union as Resolution 181 (II)., while making some adjustments to the boundaries between the two states proposed by it. The division was to take effect on the date of British withdrawal. The partition plan required that the proposed states grant full civil rights to all people within their borders, regardless of race, religion or gender. It is important to note that the UN General Assembly is only granted the power to make recommendations, therefore, UNGAR 181 was not legally binding. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union supported the resolution. Haiti, Liberia, and the Philippines changed their votes at the last moment after concerted pressure from the U.S. and from Zionist organisations. The five members of the Arab League, who were voting members at the time, voted against the Plan.
The Jewish Agency, which was the Jewish state-in-formation, accepted the plan, and nearly all the Jews in Palestine rejoiced at the news. Israeli history books mention 29 November as the most important date in the creation of Israel as it refers to UNGA 181 of 1947 Partition of the Mandate of Palestine into two states and whereof Israel's Proclamation of Independence refers to UNGA 181 as its source of sovereignty in Ph's 9 & 15.
The partition plan was rejected out of hand by Palestinian Arab leadership and by most of the Arab population.[qt 1][qt 2] Meeting in Cairo on November and December 1947, the Arab League then adopted a series of resolutions aimed at a military solution to the conflict.
Britain announced that it would accept the partition plan, but refused to enforce it, arguing it was not accepted by the Arabs. Britain also refused to share the administration of Palestine with the UN Palestine Commission during the transitional period. In September 1947, the British government announced that the Mandate for Palestine would end at midnight on 14 May 1948.
Some Jewish organisations also opposed the proposal. Irgun leader Menachem Begin announced: "The partition of the Homeland is illegal. It will never be recognized. The signature by institutions and individuals of the partition agreement is invalid. It will not bind the Jewish people. Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for ever." These views were publicly rejected by the majority of the nascent Jewish state.
Termination of the Mandate
When the UK announced the independence of Transjordan in 1946, the final Assembly of the League of Nations and the General Assembly both adopted resolutions welcoming the news. However, the Jewish Agency and many legal scholars raised objections. The Jewish Agency said that Transjordan was an integral part of Palestine, and that according to Article 80 of the UN Charter, the Jewish people had a secured interest in its territory.
During the General Assembly deliberations on Palestine, there were suggestions that it would be desirable to incorporate part of Transjordan's territory into the proposed Jewish state. A few days before the adoption of Resolution 181 (II) on 29 November 1947, U.S. Secretary of State Marshall noted frequent references had been made by the Ad Hoc Committee regarding the desirability of the Jewish State having both the Negev and an "outlet to the Red Sea and the Port of Aqaba." According to John Snetsinger, Chaim Weizmann visited President Truman on 19 November 1947 and said it was imperative that the Negev and Port of Aqaba be under Jewish control and that they be included in the Jewish state. Truman telephoned the US delegation to the UN and told them he supported Weizmann's position.
The British had notified the U.N. of their intent to terminate the mandate not later than 1 August 1948, However, early in 1948, the United Kingdom announced its firm intention to end its mandate in Palestine on 14 May. In response, President Harry S. Truman made a statement on 25 March proposing UN trusteeship rather than partition, stating that "unfortunately, it has become clear that the partition plan cannot be carried out at this time by peaceful means... unless emergency action is taken, there will be no public authority in Palestine on that date capable of preserving law and order. Violence and bloodshed will descend upon the Holy Land. Large-scale fighting among the people of that country will be the inevitable result."
The Jewish Leadership, led by future Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, on the afternoon of Friday, 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708 (Hebrew calendar date). On the same day, the Provisional Government of Israel asked the US Government for recognition, on the frontiers specified in the UN Plan for Partition. The United States immediately replied, recognizing the provisional government as the de facto authority. Israel was also quickly recognised by the Soviet Union and many other countries, but not by the surrounding Arab states.
Over the next few days, approximately 700 Lebanese, 1,876 Syrian, 4,000 Iraqi, 2,800 Egyptian troops invaded Palestine. Around 4,500 Transjordanian troops, commanded by 38 British officers, who had resigned their commissions in the British army only weeks earlier (commanded by General Glubb), invaded the Corpus separatum region encompassing Jerusalem and its environs (in response to the Haganah's Operation Kilshon), as well as areas designated as part of the Arab state by the UN partition plan.
1927 Mandatory Palestine stamp
1941 Mandatory Palestine coin
c. 1928 Mandatory Palestine stamp
1927 Mandatory Palestine coin
"Palestine" is shown in English, Arabic (??????) and Hebrew; the latter includes the acronym ??? for Eretz Yisrael.
The name given to the Mandate's territory was "Palestine", in accordance with European traditions. The term Palestine was coined in the Western culture from the name of Palaestina province of the Roman (Syria-Palaestina) and later Byzantine Empire (Palaestina Prima and Palaestina Secunda). The Mandate charter stipulated that Mandatory Palestine would have three official languages, namely English, Arabic and Hebrew.
In 1926, the British authorities formally decided to use the traditional Arabic and Hebrew equivalents to the English name, i.e. filastin (??????) and palestína (?????????) respectively. The Jewish leadership proposed that the proper Hebrew name should be Eretz Yisra′el (??? ??????=Land of Israel). The final compromise was to add the initials of the Hebrew proposed name, Alef-Yud, within parenthesis (?″?), whenever the Mandate's name was mentioned in Hebrew in official documents. The Arab leadership saw this compromise as a violation of the mandate terms. Some Arab politicians suggested that there should be a similar Arabic concession, such as "Southern Syria" (????? ????????). The British authorities rejected this proposal.
Passports from the British Mandate era.
The resolution of the San Remo Conference contained a safeguarding clause for the existing rights of the non-Jewish communities. The conference accepted the terms of the Mandate with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted in the process-verbal a legal undertaking by the Mandatory Power that it would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. The draft mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine, and all of the post-war peace treaties contained clauses for the protection of religious groups and minorities. The mandates invoked the compulsory jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice in the event of any disputes.
Article 62 (LXII) of the Treaty of Berlin, 13 July 1878 dealt with religious freedom and civil and political rights in all parts of the Ottoman Empire. The guarantees have frequently been referred to as "religious rights" or "minority rights". However, the guarantees included a prohibition against discrimination in civil and political matters. Difference of religion could not be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honours, or the exercise of the various professions and industries, "in any locality whatsoever."
A legal analysis performed by the International Court of Justice noted that the Covenant of the League of Nations had provisionally recognised the communities of Palestine as independent nations. The mandate simply marked a transitory period, with the aim and object of leading the mandated territory to become an independent self-governing State. Judge Higgins explained that the Palestinian people are entitled to their territory, to exercise self-determination, and to have their own State." The Court said that specific guarantees regarding freedom of movement and access to the Holy Sites contained in the Treaty of Berlin (1878) had been preserved under the terms of the Palestine Mandate and a chapter of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
According to historian Rashid Khalidi, the mandate ignored the political rights of the Arabs. The Arab leadership repeatedly pressed the British to grant them national and political rights, such as representative government, over Jewish national and political rights in the remaining 23% of the Mandate of Palestine which the British had set aside for a Jewish homeland. The Arabs reminded the British of President Wilson's Fourteen Points and British promises during the First World War. The British however made acceptance of the terms of the mandate a precondition for any change in the constitutional position of the Arabs. A legislative council was proposed in The Palestine Order in Council, of 1922 which implemented the terms of the mandate. It stated that: "No Ordinance shall be passed which shall be in any way repugnant to or inconsistent with the provisions of the Mandate." For the Arabs, this was unacceptable, as they felt that this would be "self murder". As a result the Arabs boycotted the elections to the Council held in 1923, which were subsequently annulled. During the whole interwar period, the British, appealing to the terms of the mandate, which they had designed themselves, rejected the principle of majority rule or any other measure that would give an Arab majority control over the government of Palestine.
The terms of the mandate required the establishment of self-governing institutions in both Palestine and Transjordan. In 1947, Foreign Secretary Bevin admitted that during the previous twenty-five years the British had done their best to further the legitimate aspirations of the Jewish communities without prejudicing the interests of the Arabs, but had failed to "secure the development of self-governing institutions" in accordance with the terms of the Mandate.
Palestinian Arab leadership and national aspirations
Main articles: Palestinian Nationalism and Arab nationalism
Under the British Mandate, the office of "Mufti of Jerusalem", traditionally limited in authority and geographical scope, was refashioned into that of "Grand Mufti of Palestine". Furthermore, a Supreme Muslim Council (SMC) was established and given various duties, such as the administration of religious endowments and the appointment of religious judges and local muftis. In Ottoman times, these duties had been fulfilled by the bureaucracy in Istanbul.(Khalidi 2006, p.63) In dealings with the Palestinian Arabs, the British negotiated with the elite rather than the middle or lower classes.(Khalidi 2006, p.52) They chose Hajj Amin al-Husayni to become Grand Mufti, although he was young and had received the fewest votes from Jerusalem's Islamic leaders.(Khalidi 2006, pp.56–57) One of the mufti's rivals, Raghib Bey al-Nashashibi, had already been appointed mayor of Jerusalem in 1920, replacing Musa Kazim, whom the British removed after the Nabi Musa riots of 1920,(Khalidi 2006, pp.63, 69)(Segev 2000, pp.127–144) during which he exhorted the crowd to give their blood for Palestine.(Morris 2001, p.112) During the entire Mandate period, but especially during the latter half, the rivalry between the mufti and al-Nashashibi dominated Palestinian politics. Khalidi ascribes the failure of the Palestinian leaders to enroll mass support, because of their experiences during the Ottoman Empire period, as they were then part of the ruling elite and accustomed to their commands being obeyed. The idea of mobilising the masses was thoroughly alien to them.(Khalidi 2006, p.81)
There had already been rioting and attacks on and massacres of Jews in 1921 and 1929. During the 1930s, Palestinian Arab popular discontent with Jewish immigration grew. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, several factions of Palestinian society, especially from the younger generation, became impatient with the internecine divisions and ineffectiveness of the Palestinian elite and engaged in grass-roots anti-British and anti-Zionist activism, organised by groups such as the Young Men's Muslim Association. There was also support for the radical nationalist Independence Party (Hizb al-Istiqlal), which called for a boycott of the British in the manner of the Indian Congress Party. Some took to the hills to fight the British and the Jews. Most of these initiatives were contained and defeated by notables in the pay of the Mandatory Administration, particularly the mufti and his cousin Jamal al-Husayni. A six-month general strike in 1936 marked the start of the great Arab Revolt.(Khalidi 2006, pp.87–90)
The Jewish Yishuv
Main article: History of Zionism
See also: History of the State of Israel
The conquest of the Ottoman Syria by the British forces in 1917, found a mixed community in the region, with Palestine, the southern part of the Ottoman Syria, containing a mixed population of Muslims, Christians, Jews and Druze. In this period, the Jewish community (Yishuv) in Palestine was divided at the time to the traditional Jewish communities in cities (the Old Yishuv), which had existed for centuries, and the newly established agricultural Zionist communities (the New Yishuv), established since 1870s. With the establishment of the Mandate, the Jewish community in Palestine formed the Zionist Commission to represent its interests.
In 1929, the Jewish Agency for Palestine took over from the Zionist Commission its representative functions and administration of the Jewish community. During the Mandate period, the Jewish Agency was a quasi-governmental organisation that served the administrative needs of the Jewish community. Its leadership was elected by Jews from all over the world by proportional representation. The Jewish Agency was charged with facilitating Jewish immigration to Palestine, land purchase and planning the general policies of the Zionist leadership. It ran schools and hospitals, and formed the Haganah. The British authorities offered to create a similar Arab Agency but this offer was rejected by Arab leaders.
In response to numerous Arab attacks on Jewish communities, the Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary organisation, was formed on 15 June 1920 to defend Jewish residents. Tensions led to widespread violent disturbances on several occasions, notably in 1921 (see Jaffa riots), 1929 (primarily violent attacks by Arabs on Jews—see 1929 Hebron massacre) and 1936–1939. Beginning in 1936, Jewish groups such as Etzel (Irgun) and Lehi (Stern Gang) conducted campaigns of violence against British military and Arab targets.
During the Mandate, the Yishuv or Jewish community in Palestine, grew from one-sixth to almost one-third of the population. According to official records, 367,845 Jews and 33,304 non-Jews immigrated legally between 1920 and 1945. It was estimated that another 50–60,000 Jews and a marginal number of Arabs, mostly on seasonal circumstances, immigrated illegally during this period. Immigration accounted for most of the increase of Jewish population, while the non-Jewish population increase was largely natural.
Initially, Jewish immigration to Palestine met little opposition from the Palestinian Arabs. However, as anti-Semitism grew in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jewish immigration (mostly from Europe) to Palestine began to increase markedly. Combined with the growth of Arab nationalism in the region and increasing anti-Jewish sentiments the growth of Jewish population created much Arab resentment. The British government placed limitations on Jewish immigration to Palestine. These quotas were controversial, particularly in the latter years of British rule, and both Arabs and Jews disliked the policy, each for their own reasons.
Jewish immigrants were to be afforded Palestinian citizenship:
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.
Jewish national home
In 1919, the General Secretary (and future President) of the Zionist Organization, Nahum Sokolow, published History of Zionism (1600–1918). He also represented the Zionist Organization at the Paris Peace Conference.
The object of Zionism is to establish for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law." ... ...It has been said and is still being obstinately repeated by anti-Zionists again and again, that Zionism aims at the creation of an independent "Jewish State" But this is fallacious. The "Jewish State" was never part of the Zionist programme. The Jewish State was the title of Herzl's first pamphlet, which had the supreme merit of forcing people to think. This pamphlet was followed by the first Zionist Congress, which accepted the Basle programme – the only programme in existence.
—Nahum Sokolow, History of Zionism
One of the objectives of British administration was to give effect to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which was also set out in the preamble of the mandate, as follows:
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour 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 non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine said the Jewish National Home, which derived from the formulation of Zionist aspirations in the 1897 Basle program has provoked many discussions concerning its meaning, scope and legal character, especially since it had no known legal connotation and there are no precedents in international law for its interpretation. It was used in the Balfour Declaration and in the Mandate, both of which promised the establishment of a "Jewish National Home" without, however, defining its meaning. A statement on "British Policy in Palestine," issued on 3 June 1922 by the Colonial Office, placed a restrictive construction upon the Balfour Declaration. The statement included "the disappearance or subordination of the Arabic population, language or customs in Palestine" or "the imposition of Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole", and made it clear that in the eyes of the mandatory Power, the Jewish National Home was to be founded in Palestine and not that Palestine as a whole was to be converted into a Jewish National Home. The Committee noted that the construction, which restricted considerably the scope of the National Home, was made prior to the confirmation of the Mandate by the Council of the League of Nations and was formally accepted at the time by the Executive of the Zionist Organization.
In March 1930, Lord Passfield, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, had written a Cabinet Paper which said:
In the Balfour Declaration there is no suggestion that the Jews should be accorded a special or favoured position in Palestine as compared with the Arab inhabitants of the country, or that the claims of Palestinians to enjoy self-government (subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory as foreshadowed in Article XXII of the Covenant) should be curtailed in order to facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people." ... Zionist leaders have not concealed and do not conceal their opposition to the grant of any measure of self-government to the people of Palestine either now or for many years to come. Some of them even go so far as to claim that that provision of Article 2 of the Mandate constitutes a bar to compliance with the demand of the Arabs for any measure of self-government. In view of the provisions of Article XXII of the Covenant and of the promises made to the Arabs on several occasions that claim is inadmissible.
The League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission took the position that the Mandate contained a dual obligation. In 1932 the Mandates Commission questioned the representative of the Mandatory on the demands made by the Arab population regarding the establishment of self-governing institutions, in accordance with various articles of the mandate, and in particular Article 2. The Chairman noted that "under the terms of the same article, the mandatory Power had long since set up the Jewish National Home."
In 1937, the Peel Commission, a British Royal Commission headed by Earl Peel, proposed solving the Arab–Jewish conflict by partitioning Palestine into two states. The two main Jewish leaders, Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion, had convinced the Zionist Congress to approve equivocally the Peel recommendations as a basis for more negotiation. The US Consul General at Jerusalem told the State Department that the Mufti had refused the principle of partition and declined to consider it. The Consul said that the Emir Abdullah urged acceptance on the ground that realities must be faced, but wanted modification of the proposed boundaries and Arab administrations in the neutral enclave. The Consul also noted that Nashashibi sidestepped the principle, but was willing to negotiate for favourable modifications.
A collection of private correspondence published by David Ben Gurion contained a letter written in 1937 which explained that he was in favour of partition because he didn't envision a partial Jewish state as the end of the process. Ben Gurion wrote "What we want is not that the country be united and whole, but that the united and whole country be Jewish." He explained that a first-class Jewish army would permit Zionists to settle in the rest of the country with or without the consent of the Arabs. Benny Morris said that both Chaim Weizmann and David Ben Gurion saw partition as a stepping stone to further expansion and the eventual takeover of the whole of Palestine. Former Israeli Foreign Minister and historian Schlomo Ben Ami writes that 1937 was the same year that the "Field Battalions" under Yitzhak Sadeh wrote the "Avner Plan", which anticipated and laid the groundwork for what would become in 1948, Plan D. It envisioned going far beyond any boundaries contained in the existing partition proposals and planned the conquest of the Galilee, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.
In 1942, the Biltmore Program was adopted as the platform of the World Zionist Organization. It demanded "that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth." In 1946 an Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, also known as the Grady-Morrison Committee, noted that the demand for a Jewish State went beyond the obligations of either the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate and had been expressly disowned by the Chairman of the Jewish Agency as recently as 1932. The Jewish Agency subsequently refused to accept the Grady Morrison Plan as the basis for discussion. A spokesman for the agency, Eliahu Epstein, told the US State Department that the Agency could not attend the London conference if the Grady-Morrison proposal was on the agenda. He stated that the Agency was unwilling to be placed in a position where it might have to compromise between the Grady-Morrison proposals on the one hand and its own partition plan on the other. He stated that the Agency had accepted partition as the solution for Palestine which it favoured.
Map of Palestine Land ownership by sub-district (1945) originally published in the Village Statistics 1945
After transition to the British rule, much of the agricultural land in Palestine (about 1/3 of the whole territory) retained under the ownership of past Ottoman landlords, mostly powerful Arab clans and local Muslim sheikhs. Other territories had been held by foreign Christian organisations (most notably the Greek Orthodox Church), as well as Jewish private and Zionist organisations, and to lesser degree by small minorities of Bahai's, Samaritans and Circassians.
As of 1931, the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine was 26,625,600 dunams (26,625.6km2), of which 8,252,900 dunams (8,252.9km2) or 33% were arable. Official statistics show that Jews privately and collectively owned 1,393,531 dunams (1,393.53km2) of land in 1945. The Jewish owned agricultural land was largely located in the Galilee and along the coastal plain. Estimates of the total volume of land that Jews had purchased by 15 May 1948 are complicated by illegal and unregistered land transfers, as well as by the lack of data on land concessions from the Palestine administration after 31 March 1936. According to Avneri, Jews held 1,850,000 dunams (1,850km2) of land in 1947. Stein gives the estimate of 2,000,000 dunams (2,000km2) as of May 1948.
Nevertheless, the quantity of Jewish owned land is easier to calculate than Arab owned land, which had largely been undocumented. The total volume of land in Mandatory Palestine, owned by Arabs (Muslim, Christian and Druze), is a matter of a great difficulty to account for. The 1945 UN estimation shows that Arab ownership of arable land was on average 68% of a district, ranging from 15% ownership in the Beer-Sheba district to 99% ownership in the Ramallah district.
Land ownership by district
The following table shows the 1945 land ownership of mandatory Palestine by district:
Land ownership of Palestine in 1945 by district
Public / other
Data from the Land Ownership of Palestine
Land ownership by type
The land owned privately and collectively by Jews, Arabs and other non-Jews can be classified as urban, rural built-on, cultivable (farmed), and uncultivable. The following chart shows the ownership by Jews, Arabs and other non-Jews in each of the categories.
Land ownership of Palestine (in square kilometres) on 1 April 1943
Arab / non-Jewish ownership
Cereal (not taxable)
Data is from Survey of Palestine (Vol II, p566). By the end of 1946, Jewish ownership had increased to 1624km2.
List of Mandatory land laws
Land Transfer Ordinance of 1920
1926 Correction of Land Registers Ordinance
Land Settlement Ordinance of 1928
Land Transfer Regulations of 1940
Main article: Demographics of Palestine
British censuses and estimations
Population distribution at the end of the Mandate
In 1920, the majority of the approximately 750,000 people in this multi-ethnic region were Arabic-speaking Muslims, including a Bedouin population (estimated at 103,331 at the time of the 1922 census and concentrated in the Beersheba area and the region south and east of it), as well as Jews (who comprised some 11% of the total) and smaller groups of Druze, Syrians, Sudanese, Circassians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Hejazi Arabs.
1922, First British census of Palestine shows population of 757,182, with 78% Muslim, 11% Jewish and 9.6% Christian.
1931, Second British census of Palestine shows total population of 1,035,154 with 73.4% Muslim, 16.9% Jewish and 8.6% Christian.
A discrepancy between the two censuses and records of births, deaths and immigration, led the authors of the second census to postulate the illegal immigration of about 9,000 Jews and 4,000 Arabs during the intervening years.
There were no further censuses but statistics were maintained by counting births, deaths and migration. Some components such as illegal immigration could only be estimated approximately. The White Paper of 1939, which placed immigration restrictions on Jews, stated that the Jewish population "has risen to some 450,000" and was "approaching a third of the entire population of the country". In 1945, a demographic study showed that the population had grown to 1,764,520, comprising 1,061,270 Muslims, 553,600 Jews, 135,550 Christians and 14,100 people of other groups.
Average compounded population
growth rate per annum, 1922–1945
The following table gives the demographics of each of the 16 districts of the Mandate in 1945.
The Mandate territory was divided into administrative regions known as districts and administer by the office of the British High Commissioner of Palestine.
Britain continued the Millet system of the Ottoman Empire whereby all matters of a religious nature and personal status were within the jurisdiction of Muslim courts and the courts of other recognised religions, called confessional communities. The High Commissioner established the Orthodox Rabbinate and retained a modified Millet system which only recognised eleven religious communities: Muslims, Jews and nine Christian denominations (none of which were Christian Protestant churches). All those who were not members of these recognised communities were excluded from the Millet arrangement. As a result, there was no possibility, for example, of marriages between confessional communities, and there were no civil marriages. Personal contacts between communities were nominal.
Between 1922 and 1947, the annual growth rate of the Jewish sector of the economy was 13.2%, mainly due to immigration and foreign capital, while that of the Arab was 6.5%. Per capita, these figures were 4.8% and 3.6% respectively. By 1936, the Jewish sector earned 2.6 times as much as Arabs. Compared to other Arab countries, the Palestinian Arab individuals earned slightly more.
The country's largest industrial zone was in Haifa, where many housing projects were built for employees.
On the scale of the UN Human Development Index determined for around 1939, of 36 countries, Palestinian Jews were placed 15th, Palestinian Arabs 30th, Egypt 33rd and Turkey 35th. The Jews in Palestine were mainly urban, 76.2% in 1942, while the Arabs were mainly rural, 68.3% in 1942. Overall, Khalidi concludes that Palestinian Arab society, while overmatched by the Yishuv, was as advanced as any other Arab society in the region and considerably more than several.
Under the British Mandate, the country developed economically and culturally. In 1919 the Jewish community founded a centralised Hebrew school system, and the following year established the Assembly of Representatives, the Jewish National Council and the Histadrut labour federation. The Technion university was founded in 1924, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1925.
Literacy rates in 1932 were 86% for the Jews against 22% for the Palestinian Arabs, but Arab literacy steadily increased. Palestinian Arabs compared favourably to Egypt and Turkey, but unfavourably to Lebanon.
General Allenby's final attacks of the Palestine Campaign gave Britain control of the area
Field Marshall Allenby entering Jerusalem with British troops on 11 December 1917
General Watson meeting with the Mayor of Jerusalem in December 1917
The surrender of Jerusalem by the Ottomans to the British on 9 December 1917 following the Battle of Jerusalem
Main post office, Jaffa Road, Jerusalem
Rockefeller Museum, built in Jerusalem during the British Mandate
Main post office, Jaffa
Western Wall, 1933
Supreme Military Tribunal of the British Mandate, Kiryat Shmuel, Jerusalem
YMCA in Jerusalem, built during the British Mandate
"Bevingrad" in Jerusalem, Russian Compound behind barbed wire
Mandate-era mailbox, Jerusalem
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Map A) Tel Aviv Jaffa British Palestine Map Ww 2 1942 In Graet Unused Condition: $15