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|League of Nations - Mandate for Palestine and Transjordan Memorandum|
British Command Paper 1785, December 1922, containing the Mandate for Palestine and the Transjordan memorandum
|Signatories||League of Nations|
|Purpose||Creation of the territories of Palestine and Transjordan|
|League of Nations - Mandate for Palestine and Transjordan Memorandum|
British Command Paper 1785, December 1922, containing the Mandate for Palestine and the Transjordan memorandum
|Signatories||League of Nations|
|Purpose||Creation of the territories of Palestine and Transjordan|
The British Mandate for Palestine, or simply the Mandate for Palestine, was a legal commission for the administration of the territory that had formerly constituted the Ottoman Empire sanjaks of Nablus, Acre, the Southern portion of the Beirut Vilayet, and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, prior to the Armistice of Mudros. The draft of the Mandate was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922, supplemented via the 16 September 1922 Transjordan memorandum and then came into effect on 29 September 1923 following the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne. The mandate ended at midnight on 14 May 1948.
The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the draft Covenant of the League of Nations and the San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920, by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalised British rule in the southern part of Ottoman Syria from 1923–1948.
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 mandate document formalised the creation of two British protectorates: Palestine, to include a national home for the Jewish people, under direct British rule, and Transjordan, an Emirate governed semi-autonomously from Britain, under the rule of the Hashemite family.
When the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in the First World War in April 1915, it threatened Britain's communications with India via the Suez Canal, besides other strategic interests of the allies. The conquest of Palestine became part of British strategies aimed at establishing a land bridge between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. This would enable rapid deployment of troops to the Gulf, then the forward line of defence for British interests in India, and protect against invasion from the north by Russia. A land bridge was also an alternative to the Suez Canal.
In response to French initiatives, the United Kingdom established the de Bunsen Committee in 1915 to consider the nature of British objectives in Turkey and Asia in the event of a successful conclusion of the war. The committee considered various scenarios and provided guidelines for negotiations with France, Italy, and Russia regarding the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Committee recommended in favour of the creation of a decentralised and federal Ottoman state in Asia.
At the same time, the British and French also opened overseas fronts with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamian campaigns. In Gallipoli, the Turks successfully repelled the British, French and Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs).
From 1915, Zionist leader and anglophile Ze'ev Jabotinsky was pressing the British to agree to the formation of a Zionist volunteer corps that would serve under the aegis of the British army. The British eventually agreed to set up the Zion Mule Corps, which assisted in the failed invasion of Gallipoli. After Lloyd George was made prime minister during the war, the British waged the Sinai and Palestine Campaign under General Allenby. This time the British agreed to a "Jewish Legion", which participated in the invasion. Russian Jews regarded the German army as a liberator and the creation of the Legion was designed to encourage them to participate in the war on Britain's side.
The British defeated Ottoman Turkish forces in 1917 and occupied Ottoman Syria, which would later be divided to British Palestine and TransJordan and French Syria and Lebanon. The land remained under British military administration for the remainder of the war, and beyond.
The Ottoman Empire capitulated on 30 October 1918, and on 23 November 1918, a military edict was issued dividing Ottoman territories into "occupied enemy territory administrations" (OETAs). The Middle East was divided into three OETAs. Occupied Enemy Territory Administration South extended from the Egyptian border of Sinai into Palestine and Lebanon as far north as Acre and Nablus and as far east as the River Jordan. A temporary British military governor (Major General Sir Arthur Wigram Money) would administer this sector. At that time, General Allenby assured Amir Faisal "that the Allies were in honour bound to endeavour to reach a settlement in accordance with the wishes of the peoples concerned and urged him to place his trust whole-heartedly in their good faith."
In October 1919, British forces in Syria and the last British soldiers stationed east of the Jordan were withdrawn and the region came under exclusive control of Faisal bin Hussein from Damascus. (Biger 2004, p. 173)
In 1916, Britain and France concluded the Sykes–Picot Agreement, which proposed to divide the Middle East between them into spheres of influence, with "Palestine" as an international enclave. (Pappé 1994, p. 3)
The British made two potentially conflicting promises regarding the territory it was expecting to acquire. In the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence of 1915 Britain had promised Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, through T. E. Lawrence, independence for an Arab country covering most of the Arab Middle East in exchange for his support, while also promising to create and foster a Jewish national home in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement did not call for Arab sovereignty, but for the "suzerainty of an Arab chief" and "an international administration, the form of which is to be decided upon after consultation with Russia, and subsequently in consultation with the other allies, and the representatives of the Sherif of Mecca." Under the terms of that agreement, the Zionist Organization needed to secure an agreement along the lines of the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement with the Sherif of Mecca.
At the Peace Conference in 1919, Emir Faisal, speaking on behalf of King Hussein, asked for Arab independence, or at minimum the right to pick the mandatory. In the end, he recommended an Arab state under a British mandate. The World Zionist Organization also asked for a British mandate, and asserted the 'historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine'.
A confidential appendix to the report of the 1919 King-Crane Commission observed that "The Jews are distinctly for Britain as mandatory power, because of the Balfour declaration' and that the French 'resent the payment by the English to the Emir Faisal of a large monthly subsidy, which they claim covers a multitude of bribes, and enables the British to stand off and show clean hands while Arab agents do dirty work in their interest." The Faisal-Weizmann Agreement called for British mediation of any disputes. It also called for the establishment of borders, after the Versailles peace conference, by a commission to be formed for the purpose. The World Zionist Organization later submitted to the peace conference a proposed map of the territory that did not include the area east of the Hedjaz Railway, including most of Transjordan. In the San Remo Conference (24 April 1920) the Mandate for Palestine was allocated to Great Britain. France required the continuation of its religious protectorate in Palestine but Italy and Great Britain opposed it. France lost the religious protectorate but thanks to the Holy See continued to enjoy liturgical honors in Mandatory Palestine until 1924 when the honours were abolished (see: Protectorate of the Holy See).
During and after World War I, Britain made conflicting and shifting commitments regarding the future division and governance of the region, including those announced in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, and the Churchill White Paper of 1922. At the San Remo conference, the boundaries of the mandated territories were not precisely defined.
In a meeting at Deauville in 1919, David Lloyd George of the UK and Georges Clemenceau of France finalized the Anglo-French Settlement of 1–4 December 1918. The new agreement allocated Palestine and the Vilayet of Mosul to the British in exchange for British support of French influence in Syria and Lebanon.
At the Paris Peace Conference, Prime Minister Lloyd George told Georges Clemenceau and the other allies that the McMahon-Hussein correspondence was a treaty obligation. He explained that the agreement with Hussein had actually been the basis for the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and that the French could not use the proposed League Of Nations Mandate system to break the terms of the agreement. He pointed out that the French had agreed not to occupy the area of the independent Arab state, or confederation of states, with their military forces, including the areas of Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo. Arthur Balfour (later Lord Balfour, British Foreign Secretary at the time) and President Woodrow Wilson were present at the meeting.
The open negotiations began at the Paris Peace Conference, continued at the Conference of London and took definite shape only after the San Remo conference in April 1920. There the Allied Supreme Council granted the mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia to Britain, and those for Syria and Lebanon to France. In August 1920, this was officially acknowledged in the Treaty of Sèvres. Both Zionist and Arab representatives attended the conference, where they signed the Faisal–Weizmann Agreement. The agreement was never implemented.
The San Remo conference assigned the mandate for Palestine to the United Kingdom under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Allies also decided to make the UK responsible for putting into effect its own Balfour Declaration of 1917.
The mandate was a legal and administrative instrument, not a geographical territory. The territorial jurisdiction of the mandate was subject to change by treaty, capitulation, grant, usage, sufferance or other lawful means.
The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the draft Covenant of the League of Nations and the San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920 by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalised British rule in the southern part of Ottoman Syria from 1923–1948.
Each of the principal Allied powers had a hand in drafting the proposed mandate—although some, including the United States, had not declared war on the Ottoman Empire and did not become members of the League of Nations.
The preamble of the mandate document declared:
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in 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 British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, together with the Italian and French governments rejected early drafts of the mandate because they had contained a passage which read: "Recognizing, moreover, the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the claim which this gives them to reconstitute it their national home..."
The Palestine Committee set up by the Foreign Office recommended that the reference to 'the claim' be omitted. The Allies had already noted the historical connection in the Treaty of Sèvres, but they had not acknowledged a legal claim. Lord Balfour suggested an alternative which was accepted:
Whereas recognition has thereby [i.e. by the Treaty of Sèvres] been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, and to the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country ...
The Vatican, the Italian, and the French governments continued to press their own legal claims on the basis of the former Protectorate of the Holy See and the French Protectorate of Jerusalem. The idea of an International Commission to resolve claims on the Holy Places had been formalised in Article 95 of the Treaty of Sèvres, and taken up again in article 14 of the Palestinian Mandate. Negotiations concerning the formation and the role of the commission were partly responsible for the delay in ratifying the mandate. The UK assumed responsibility for the Holy Places under Article 13 of the mandate. However, it never created the Commission on Holy Places to resolve the other claims in accordance with Article 14 of the mandate.
The High Commissioner established the authority of the Orthodox Rabbinate over the members of the Jewish community and retained a modified version of the old Ottoman Millet system. Formal recognition was extended to eleven religious communities, which did not include the non-Orthodox Jewish or Protestant Christian denominations.
The preamble of the Mandate document states that the Mandate is granted to Britain "for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations". That article, which concerns entrusting "tutelage" of colonies formerly under German and Turkish sovereignty to other, "advanced", nations", states with specific regard to "[c]ommunities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire" that they "have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone." Throughout the period of the Mandate, Palestinian leaders cited this as proving their assertion that the British were obliged under the terms of the Mandate to facilitate the eventual creation of an independent Arab state in Palestine.
The future Transjordan had been part of the Syrian administrative unit under the Ottomans. It was part of the captured territory placed under the Allied Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA). Following the final surrender of the Ottomans, the British withdrew their army from the region leaving it to be administered by Faisal as a province of Syria.
Under the terms of the McMahon-Hussein correspondence and Sykes-Picot agreements, the land east of the Jordan was to be part of an Arab state or confederation of Arab states part of the purpose of which was to create an Arab territory east of the Jordan River. The proposed Arab state and Jewish national home called for separate boundaries and administrative regimes in the sub-districts of historical Palestine (west of the Jordan River) and Transjordan (east of the Jordan River). To many observers it seemed as though the boundary of Britain's mandate for Palestine was to extend eastward to the western boundary of its mandate for Mesopotamia. However, the area east of a line from Damascus, Homs, Hamma, and Aleppo – including most of Transjordan – had been pledged in 1915 as part of an undertaking between the UK and the Sharif Hussein of Mecca. The area east of the Jordan River 'was included in the areas as to which Great Britain [sic] pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future'. At the 1919 Peace Conference, the Zionist Organization's claims did not include any territory east of the Hedjaz Railway. The Faisal-Weizmann Agreement provided that the boundaries between the Arab state and Palestine should be determined by a commission after the Paris Peace Conference.
On 13 September 1919, a memorandum was handed from Lloyd George to Georges Clemenceau which stated that British Palestine would be "defined in accordance with its ancient boundaries of Dan to Beersheba".
The territory east of the Jordan between Damascus and Ma'an had been ruled as part of Faisal's Kingdom of Syria since the end of the war. The British were content with that arrangement because Faisal was a British ally and the region fell within the indirect sphere of British influence according to the Sykes-Picot agreement. They favoured Arab rule in the interior, because they didn't have enough troops to garrison the territory. Damascus was located in the French indirect sphere of influence, and the Sykes-Picot agreement called for Arab rule there too.
The boundaries of the Palestine Mandate were not defined when it was awarded in April 1920 at the San Remo conference. In a telegram to the Foreign Office summarising the conclusions of the San Remo conference, the Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, stated: "The boundaries will not be defined in Peace Treaty but are to be determined at a later date by principal Allied Powers". When Samuel set up the civil mandatory government in mid-1920 he was explicitly instructed by Curzon that his jurisdiction did not include Transjordan. Following the French occupation in Damascus in July 1920, the French, acting in accordance with their wartime agreements with Britain refrained from extending their rule south into Transjordan. That autumn Emir Faisal's brother, Abdullah, led a band of armed men north from the Hedjaz into Transjordan and threatened to attack Syria and vindicate the Hashemites' right to overlordship there. In March 1921 the Colonial Secretary, Winston Churchill, convened the Cairo Conference which endorsed an arrangement whereby Transjordan would be added to the Palestine mandate, with Abdullah as the emir under the authority of the High Commissioner, and with the condition that the Jewish National Home provisions of the Palestine mandate would not apply there. When France occupied Damascus in July 1920, the situation had changed dramatically. The British suddenly wanted to know 'what is the "Syria" for which the French received a mandate at San Remo?' and "does it include Transjordania?". British Foreign Minister Curzon ultimately decided that it did not and that Transjordan would remain independent, but in the closest relation with Palestine.
At the Battle of Maysalun on 23 July 1920, the French removed the newly proclaimed nationalist government of Hashim al-Atassi and expelled King Faisal from Syria. The French formed a new Damascus state after the Battle of Maysalun, and the area of Transjordan became no-man's land. As a result, Curzon instructed Vansittart at the conference in Paris to leave the eastern boundary of Palestine undefined, stating "His Majesty's Government are already treating 'Trans-Jordania' as separate from the Damascus State, while at the same time avoiding any definite connection between it and Palestine, thus leaving the way open for the establishment there, should it become advisable, of some form of independent Arab government, perhaps by arrangement with King Hussein or other Arab chiefs concerned." British Foreign Secretary Earl Curzon wrote to the High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, in August 1920, stating, "I suggest that you should let it be known forthwith that in the area south of the Sykes-Picot line, we will not admit French authority and that our policy for this area to be independent but in closest relations with Palestine." Samuel replied to Curzon, "After the fall of Damascus a fortnight ago...Sheiks and tribes east of Jordan utterly dissatisfied with Shareefian Government most unlikely would accept revival." He subsequently announced that Transjordan was under British Mandate.
Without authority from London, Samuel then visited Transjordan and at a meeting with 600 leaders in Salt, announced the independence of the area from Damascus and its absorption into the mandate, quadrupling the area under his control by tacit capitulation. Samuel assured his audience that Transjordan would not be merged with Palestine. The foreign secretary, Lord Curzon, repudiated Samuel's action. Two months later, on 21 November, Abdullah, the brother of recently deposed King Faisal, marched into Ma'an at the head of an army of 300 men.
Distinction to be drawn between Palestine and Trans-Jordan under the Mandate. His Majesty's Government are responsible under the terms of the Mandate for establishing in Palestine a national home for the Jewish people. They are also pledged by the assurances given to the Sherif of Mecca in 1915 to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs in those portions of the (Turkish) vilayet of Damascus in which they are free to act without detriment to French interests. The western boundary of the Turkish vilayet of Damascus before the war was the River Jordan. Palestine and Trans-Jordan do not, therefore, stand upon quite the same footing. At the same time, the two areas are economically interdependent, and their development must be considered as a single problem. Further, His Majesty's Government have been entrusted with the Mandate for "Palestine." If they wish to assert their claim to Trans-Jordan and to avoid raising with other Powers the legal status of that area, they can only do so by proceeding upon the assumption that Trans-Jordan forms part of the area covered by the Palestine Mandate. In default of this assumption Trans-Jordan would be left, under article 132 of the Treaty of Sevres, to the disposal of the principal Allied Powers. Some means must be found of giving effect in Trans-Jordan to the terms of the Mandate consistently with "recognition and support of the independence of the Arabs".
The Cairo Conference of March 1921 was convened by Winston Churchill, then Britain's Colonial Secretary. With the mandates of Palestine and Iraq awarded to Britain, Churchill wished to consult with Middle East experts. At his request, Gertrude Bell, Sir Percy Cox, T. E. Lawrence, Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, Sir Arnold T. Wilson, Iraqi minister of war Jaʿfar alAskari, Iraqi minister of finance Sasun Effendi (Sasson Heskayl), and others gathered in Cairo, Egypt. An additional outstanding question was the policy to be adopted in Transjordan to prevent anti-French military actions from being launched within the allied British zone of influence. The Hashemites were Associated Powers during the war, and a peaceful solution was urgently needed. The two most significant decisions of the conference were to offer the throne of Iraq to Emir Faisal ibn Hussein (who became Faisal I of Iraq) and an emirate of Transjordan (now Jordan) to his brother Abdullah ibn Hussein (who became Abdullah I of Jordan). The conference provided the political blueprint for British administration in both Iraq and Transjordan, and in offering these two regions to the sons of Sharif Hussein ibn Ali of the Hedjaz, Churchill stated that the spirit, if not the letter, of Britain's wartime promises to the Arabs might be fulfilled. After further discussions between Churchill and Abdullah in Jerusalem, it was mutually agreed that Transjordan was accepted into the mandatory area as an Arab country apart from Palestine with the proviso that it would be, initially for six months, under the nominal rule of the Emir Abdullah and that it would not form part of the Jewish national home to be established west of the River Jordan.
On 21 March 1921, the Foreign and Colonial office legal advisers decided to introduce Article 25 into the Palestine Mandate. It was approved by Curzon on 31 March 1921, and the revised final draft of the mandate (including Transjordan) was forwarded to the League of Nations on 22 July 1922.
Article 25 of the mandate recognised the McMahon-Hussein correspondence. It permitted the mandatory to "postpone or withhold application of such provisions of the mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions" in that region.
The final text of the Mandate includes an Article 25 which states:
"In the territories lying between the Jordan [river] and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions"
On submission of the memorandum to the Council of the League of Nations, Balfour explained the background as recorded in the minutes: "Lord Balfour reminded his colleagues that Article 25 of the mandate for Palestine as approved by the Council in London on July 24th, 1922, provides that the territories in Palestine which lie east of the Jordan should be under a somewhat different regime from the rest of Palestine. ... The British Government now merely proposed to carry out this article. It had always been part of the policy contemplated by the League and accepted by the British Government, and the latter now desired to carry it into effect. In pursuance of the policy, embodied in Article 25, Lord Balfour invited the Council to pass a series of resolutions which modified the mandate as regards those territories. The object of these resolutions was to withdraw from Trans-Jordania the special provisions which were intended to provide a national home for the Jews west of the Jordan."
When the Inter-Allied Conference at San Remo adjourned in April 1920, the definition of Palestine had not been discussed. In a recent essay, Sanford Silverburg stated that "a Palestine" within the western political understanding of the term simply never existed." He observed that the failure to establish a western-based territorial element or frame of reference had clouded discussions and cited the claim that Transjordan had been detached from Palestine as a non-sequitur.
That agreement was formalised before the mandate officially went into effect. An article was included in the Mandate for Palestine which allowed the UK to postpone or withhold unspecified provisions from the lands which lay to the east of the Jordan River. On 16 September 1922, the League of Nations approved a British memorandum detailing its intended implementation of that clause, namely to exclude Transjordan from the articles related to Jewish settlement.
With the League of Nations' consent on 16 September 1922, the Mandate territory was formalised by the UK with the creation of two administrative areas, Palestine, under direct British rule, and autonomous Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from the Kingdom of Hejaz in present-day Saudi Arabia, in accordance with the McMahon Correspondence of 1915. Following the 1922 Transjordan memorandum, the area east of the Jordan river became exempt from the Mandate provisions concerning the Jewish National Home.
The British Foreign Office confirmed the position in 1946, in discussions over the independence of Transjordan, stating that "the clauses of the Palestine Mandate relating to the establishment of a Jewish national home were, with the approval of the League of Nations, never applied in Transjordan. His Majesty's Government have therefore never considered themselves under any obligation to apply them there".
Transfer of authority to an Arab government took place gradually in Transjordan, starting with Abdullah's appointment as Emir of Transjordan on 1 April 1921, and the formation of his first government on 11 April 1921. The independent administration was recognised in a statement made in Amman on 25 April 1923: "Subject to the approval of the League of Nations, His Britannic Majesty will recognize the existence of an independent Government in Trans-jordan under the rule of His Highness the Amir Abdullah, provided that such Government is constitutional and places His Britannic Majesty in a position to fulfil his international obligations in respect of the territory by means of an Agreement to be concluded with His Highness"
It is not part of Palestine but it is part of the area administered by the British Government under the authority of the Palestine Mandate. The special arrangements there really go back to the old controversy about our war time pledges to the Arabs which I have no wish to revive. The point is that on our own interpretation of those pledges the country East of the Jordan - though not the country West of the Jordan - falls within the area in respect of which we promised during the war to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs. Transjordan is in a wholly different position from Palestine and it was considered necessary that special arrangements should be made there
Transfer of most administrative functions occurred in 1928, including the creation of the post of High Commissioner for Transjordan. The status of the mandate was not altered by the agreement between the United Kingdom and the Emirate concluded on 20 February 1928. It recognised the existence of an independent government in Transjordan and defined and limited its powers. The ratifications were exchanged on 31 October 1929."
Britain retained mandatory authority over the region until it became independent as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in 1946. The juridical status of the mandate under the Palestine Mandate Convention remained unchanged pending a decision on the Palestine question by the United Nations or Transjordan's admission to the United Nations as an independent state. See Termination of the Mandate.
Article 14 of the Mandate required Britain to establish a commission to study, define, and determine the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. This provision, which called for the creation of a commission to review the religious status quo between the religious communities, was never created.
Article 15 required the mandatory administration to see to it that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship were permitted.
The proviso to the objective of the mandate was that "nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine".
The Northern boundary between the British and French mandates was defined in broad terms by the Franco-British Boundary Agreement of December 1920. That agreement placed the bulk of the Golan Heights in the French sphere. The treaty also established a joint commission to settle the precise border and mark it on the ground. The commission submitted its final report on 3 February 1922, and it was approved with some caveats by the British and French governments on 7 March 1923, several months before Britain and France assumed their Mandatory responsibilities on 29 September 1923. Under the treaty, Syrian and Lebanese residents would have the same fishing and navigation rights on Lake Hula, Lake Tiberias, and the Jordan River as citizens of the Palestine Mandate, but the government of Palestine would be responsible for policing of the lakes. The Zionist movement pressured the French and British to include as much water sources as possible to Palestine during the demarcating negotiations. These constant demands influenced the negotiators and finally led to the inclusion of the whole Sea of Galilee, both sides of the Jordan river, Lake Hula, Dan spring, and part of the Yarmouk. The High Commissioner of Palestine, Herbert Samuel, had demanded full control of the Sea of Galilee. The new border followed a 10-meter wide strip along the northeastern shore.
Following the settlement of the Northern border issue, the British and French governments signed on 2 February 1926 an Agreement of good neighbourly Relations between the mandated territories of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
The Southern border between Palestine and Egypt was left unchanged from the border established between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire in 1906.
The Southern border between Transjordan and Arabia was left undefined whilst Abdullah's father remained in power in the Kingdom of Hejaz. However, following the 1924-25 Saudi conquest of Hejaz, the Hashemite army fled to the northern Ma'an province of Hejaz, which was then annexed by Transjordan. This was formalised by the 1925 Hadda agreement, with the resulting zig-zag border becoming known as Winston's Hiccup.
The August 1922 Palestine Order in Council provided that:
The High Commissioner may, with the approval of a Secretary of State, by Proclamation divide Palestine into administrative divisions or districts in such manner and with such subdivisions as may be convenient for purposes of administration describing the boundaries thereof and assigning names thereto.
The decision taken by the Allied Supreme Council at the San Remo conference was documented in the Treaty of Sèvres, signed on behalf of the Ottoman Empire and Allies on 10 August 1920. However, the treaty was never ratified by the Ottoman government, because it required the agreement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Ataturk expressed disdain for the treaty, and continued the fight known as the Turkish War of Independence.
In November 1922, the Conference of Lausanne began, with the intention to negotiate a treaty to replace the failed Treaty of Sèvres. In the Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923 and ratified on 28 September 1923, the Turkish government finally recognised the detachment of the regions south of the frontier agreed in the Treaty of Ankara (1921), thereby making a general renunciation of its sovereignty over Palestine.
The text of the Mandate for Palestine was approved by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922. However, this would not come into effect until a treaty between the Turkish government and the Allies was ratified and a dispute between France and Italy over the Syria Mandate was settled. The latter requirement was due to the perceived need for the legal regime to begin at the same time as the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
Following the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne on 28 September 1923, the dispute between France and Italy was reported as settled. The Council of the League of Nations determined that the two mandates had come into effect at its meeting of 29 September 1923.
The Official Journal of the League of Nations, dated June 1922, contained an interview with Lord Balfour in which he opined that the League's authority was strictly limited. According to Balfour –
[the] Mandates were not the creation of the League, and they could not in substance be altered by the League. The League's duties were confined to seeing that the specific and detailed terms of the mandates were in accordance with the decisions taken by the Allied and Associated Powers, and that in carrying out these mandates the Mandatory Powers should be under the supervision—not under the control—of the League. A mandate was a self-imposed limitation by the conquerors on the sovereignty which they exercised over the conquered territory.
The United States was not a member of the League of Nations, and consequently was not required to officially state its position on the legality of the Palestinian Mandate. However, the US government accepted the de facto, if not de jure, status of the mandates and entered into individual treaties with the mandatory power to secure legal rights for its citizens and to protect property rights and business interests in the mandates. In the case of Palestine, on 3 December 1924, it entered into a bilateral treaty with Britain in the Palestine Mandate Convention, in which the United States "consents to the administration" (Article 1) and which dealt with eight issues of concern to the United States.
|1920||25 Apr||Mandate assigned||OETA South||Kingdom of Syria / Kingdom of Hejaz|
|1 Jul||High Commissioner of Palestine appointed|
|23 Jul||Battle of Maysalun|
|10 Aug||Treaty of Sèvres signed (never ratified)|
|20 Aug||Herbert Samuel's proclamation at Salt|
|21 Nov||Abdullah's army moves to Ma'an|
|23 Dec||Franco-British Boundary Agreement|
|1921||12-30 Mar||Cairo conference. Article 25 (Transjordan) drafted|
|1 Apr||Emirate of Transjordan established|
|1922||24 Jul||Mandate terms approved by League of Nations|
|10 Aug||Palestine constitution (Order in Council)|
|16 Sep||Transjordan memorandum accepted|
|23 Oct||1922 census of Palestine|
|1923||25 April||Independence announcement|
|29 Sep||Mandate comes into effect|
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