Mandate for Palestine
الانتداب البريطاني على فلسطين (Arabic)
(המנדט הבריטי על פלשתינה (א"י (Hebrew)
Timeline: Twilight of a New Era

OTL equivalent: British Mandate of Palestine (1920-1948)
Palestine-Mandate-Ensign-1927-1948 Public Seal of High Commissioner of Palestine
Flag Public Seal of High Commissioner of Palestine
Mandate of Palestine (TNE)
Location Mandate of Palestine
(and largest city)
Other cities Jaffa, Haifa, Gaza and Ramle
English, Hebrew and Arabic
  others Yiddish, Ladino, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian
Secular state
  others Islam (Sunni and Shia), Christianity (Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglican, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic (Eastern and Western rites), Protestant, Judaism and Druze
Ethnic Groups
  others Jews and Europeans
Demonym Palestinian
Government League of Nations mandate (United Kingdom)
High Commissioner
Chief Secretary
Area 26,625 km²
Established 1920
Independence from Ottoman Empire
Currency Palestine pound

The Mandate of Palestine (or Mandate for Palestine), was created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920 as a League of Nations mandate. The administration of the mandate was given to the United Kingdom.

Palestine borders to the North with the Mandate of Levant, West with Confederation of Arab States and South with Kingdom of Egypt.

British occupation and creation of the Mandate

When the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in World War I, it threatened Britain's communications with India via the Suez Canal, besides other strategic interests of the allies. The British encouraged an Arab Revolt led by the Sharif of Mecca. It had success in promoting the liberation of inner lands of Levant and the Arabic Peninsula. British troops from Egypt keep the Ottoman Empire at check in the region of Palestine. The British defeated Ottoman Turkish forces in 1919 and occupied Palestine and Syria. The land remained under British military administration for the remainder of the war, and beyond. The Ottoman capitulation (1920) and previous agreement with the French for its troops disembarked in Beirut and occupy all the Lebanese coastal region until Naqoura (the western zone) replacing British troops there established the zones of occupation.

At the Peace Conference of Paris, UK keep Palestine. The Treaty of Lucerne (1920) partitioned the territories of the Balkans and Anatolia between France, UK and Greece, and also established the frontiers of Levant and Palestine.

Organization of the Mandate

According to the Treaty of Versailles and the Protocol for Palestine, it was agreed that when it ... have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory., along guarantees for minorities, it would became an independent State.

The Palestine Order of Council of 1920 established the basic state machinery. The High Commissioner of Palestine is the highest ranking authority representing the United Kingdom in the Mandate of Palestine. He is assisted by an appointed Executive Council and a Chief Secretary who is the senor officer of the Executive Council

A Palestine Legislative Council was called to be the supreme legislative authority in all matters not reserved to the High Commissioner. It is composed ex-officio by official members (High Commissioner, Chief Secretary and Chiefs of Departments of the Executive Council) and elected members of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities. However due to disagreements on the number of members of the communities and electoral boycott from the Arab (Muslim and Christian) and Jewish communities, members to the Legislative Council have been appointed by the High Commissioner.

The judiciary is headed by a Supreme Court, named by the High Commissioner and has jurisdiction and supervision of all civil, magistrates, district, land courts.

The old Ottoman millet system was preserved for the administration of religious law. Formal recognition was extended to eleven religious communities, which did not include the non-Orthodox Jewish or Protestant Christian denominations.

Arab and Jewish communities

One of the first acts of the High Commissioner was, according to the case, the promotion, establishment or appointment of administrative bodies for the Arab and Jewish communities.

Politics of the Mandate

Politics was divided along the lines of the Arab and Jewish communities. The Jewish community, already organized in major groups in Central and Eastern Europe a had Labor Zionism, Revisionist Zionism and Religious Zionism parties, The Arabs, greater in number but late in organizing a political associations, had the Palestinian Arab A’ayan ("Notables") grouped on the Palestine Arab Party and National Defence Party, the Palestinian Independence Party (Hizb al-Istiqlal, a combination of pan-Arabism and Islamism) and Arab-Socialist clubs.

Parties that appealed to both communities or called for the removal of communal loyalties were mainly the Muslim-Christian Association that argued for and promoted interculturalism and non-sectarian association of Arabs, Palestine Communist Party and its working class appeal. The Labor Zionism parties also established sister parties with Arab membership.

Order and defense

The Palestine Police Force (PPF) is in charge of maintaining public order. Distinctive Arab and Jewish Auxiliary Police Corps where established. After the Arab Rebellion of Palestine (1932) a Police Mobile Force (PMF) was created as a fully militarized strike force, under the command of the Palestine Police. It was established with British servicemen. Also all Auxiliary Police Corps were disbanded and integrated in the PPF.

The British Army in Palestine, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, keep bases in Haifa. Originally established has a line of defense for the Suez Canal, but during the Palestine Arab Revolt were used to repress the uprising.

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