British Occupation Background
During WWI, when it became apparent that the allies were winning, a clandestine meeting took place from which emerged the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. Sykes-Picot, which was named after the British and French diplomats taking part in the discussions, attempted to determine the outcome of the conquered territory after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman territory was to be divided up by the French and British Allied Powers. The British, under the authority of the League of Nations, would administer Palestine (today’s Jordan and Israel). This became known as the British Mandate.
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In 1917, Lord Balfour, on behalf of the British Government, ordered a declaration stating that:
“His Majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” – This was incorporated into the British Mandate. The Balfour Declaration became legally binding at the San Remo conference (see The Legality of Israel).