Original Documents

The history of contemporary Palestine includes many key documents that had major impacts on the destiny that befell the Holy Land. Among them are:

The Husain-McMahon Letters 1915: An exchange of letters between Husain bin Ali, of Mecca, and Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Cairo, during World War I discussed the future political status of lands controlled by the Ottoman Empire.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916: The Sykes Picot agreement separated the Middle East and split the Arab area into zones of British and French influence that would prevent full independence.

Balfour Declaration 1917: A letter written by Lord Balfour to the head of the Zionist World Organization gives British approval for the creation of Jewish national home in Palestine.

League of Nations, Mandates Palestine 1937: With the consent of the League of Nations in September 1922, Britain divided the Mandate territory into two administrative areas, Palestine, under direct British rule, and autonomous Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from Hijaz.

Plan Dalet 1947: Plan Dalet was the guidebook the Zionist organization gave to the Jewish paramilitary group, the Haganah, in 1947 that  detailed the Zionist’s military plans for the conquest of Palestine.

The Balfour Declaration 1917

Posted in Original Documents


November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

"His Majesty's Government view 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."
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

~ United Nations Information