Historically, Israel and Palestine did not exist as a political entity at the end of the 19th century. The land that would go on to host the Arab-Israeli conflict was once ruled by the Ottoman Empire under the name of the Vilayet of Beirut and the District of Jerusalem. The native population was mainly made up of Arab-Palestinians adhering to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Arab society was cohesive and stable under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. When the Young Turk Revolution erupted in 1908, it inspired some Arabs in the region to seek autonomy and independence from the Ottoman Empire. This was the beginning of Arab nationalism, which the British Empire manipulated to its advantage when World War I started in 1914. During the same
…show more content…
In 1915, the British Empire started to encourage Arabs through the Sharif of Mecca, Husayn Bin Ali, to revolt against the rule of the Ottoman Empire. In order to achieve this objective, it promised the Arabs support for their independence and self governance after defeating the Ottoman Empire (Schneer 2010, 178). In 1916, Britain and France secretly signed the “Sykes-Pico” agreement, which demarcated the Ottoman Empire’s territories. Accordingly to the agreement, Palestine would be placed under the British mandate. In 1917, the Zionist movement was viewed by the British Empire as a useful ally during World War I. The close relationship between the British government and the Zionist movement culminated in the Belfour Declaration, promising Jewish people the establishment of a homeland in Palestine.
After the Ottoman Empire was defeated, the British Empire took possession of Palestine in accordance with the mandate system that was approved by the League of Nations in 1919. The British government confronted the serious problem of how to fulfill its promises made during the war to the Arabs and the Zionist movement. While the Arabs claimed that Palestine was a part of the territory that the British government promised to give them, the British government asserted that Palestine was not included (Rydelnik 2007, 176-80). This intense situation had fomented the Arabs against the British mandate and Jewish settlements in