Key documents in Palestine's history - Introduction
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. With an Allied victory, the Ottomans would be defeated and these letters addressed possible outcomes. On behalf of the British government, McMahon granted Hussein Arab control over the entire area that was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, except an area to the West of Syria.
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. This complied with the McMahon’s promise 1915. Transjordan was exempt from the Mandate requirements concerning the Zionist National home.
Plan Dalet 1947:
Plan Dalet was the guidebook the Zionist organization gave to the Jewish paramilitary group, the Haganah, in 1947. The plan detailed the Zionist’s military plans for the conquest of Palestine. The policy of the ethnic cleansing and transfer of Palestinians from Palestine is clearly stated in this plan. The Haganah was the forerunner to today’s Israeli military.