Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chronology of the Palestinean-Israeli Conflict

In 1999 I found this chronology of key events on Indiana University's History Department website. It was probably written by a graduate student there, and I used to post it on the Yahoo message boards related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For many years I was a Yahoo message board addict - I called myself 'darkmansixtynine' (because I am a dark man and I was born in 1969).

First Zionist congress meets in Switzerland and issues Basel Program on colonization of Palestine.

First Arab nationalist congress meets in Paris.

Husayn-McMahon correspondence--between Sharif Husayn of Mecca and Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt. Arabs understand it as ensuring postwar independence and unity of the Arab provinces (including Palestine) of the Ottoman Empire.

Sykes-Picot agreement secretly divides the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire between Britain and France.

1917 (Nov.)
Balfour Declaration: Britain pledges support for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

Ottoman forces in Jerusalem surrender to Allied forces under General Sir Edmund Allenby.

British troops under General Allenby occupy the whole of Palestine.

First Palestine national congress meets in Jerusalem. It rejects the Balfour Declaration and demands independence for Palestine.

Mandate system approved at San Remo Conference; the Palestine mandate is assigned to Britain without the consent of Palestinians.
Anti-Zionist riots in Jerusalem.

Sir Herbert Samuel, first British High Commissioner for Palestine, arrives in Jerusalem.

Anti-Zionist riots in Jaffa; scores of Jews are killed or wounded.

First British census of Palestine: 78% Muslim; 11% Jewish; 10% Christian.

Riots in Jerusalem; 133 Jews and 116 Palestinians killed, by the British military.

British White Paper on policy in Palestine. It causes an outcry among Zionists because it calls for restrictions on Jewish immigration into Palestine.

Letter from Ramsay MacDonald, the British Prime Minister, to Zionist leader Chaim Weizman reaffirms Britain’s commitment to the National Home policy. This was dubbed the ‘Black Letter’ by Palestinians, who saw it as a reversal of the White Paper’s policy as a result of Zionist pressure.

Second British census of Palestine: 73% Muslim; 17% Jewish; 9% Christian.

Arabs observe a general strike to protest Britain's pro-Zionist policies. Riots in Jaffa and Jerusalem with strong anti-British overtones.

1936 (April)
Leaders of all five Palestinian political parties call for a general strike rebellion.

British Royal (Peel) Commission report recommends partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Strong opposition from Arabs.

Second phase of Arab rebellion.

The Irgun (a Jewish military organization) plants bombs in buses and marketplaces, killing and wounding hundreds of Palestinian civilians.

Round Table Conference on Palestine in London, followed by 1939 White Paper restricting Jewish immigration and land buying.

The Biltmore Program, issued by the Jewish Agency after a meeting in New York, demands unlimited Jewish immigration into Palestine, the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth there, and the organization of a Jewish army.

Irgun and Stern Gang work together in a campaign of terror against the British.

The U.S. Congress introduces joint resolution endorsing the Biltmore Program.

The U.S. House of Representatives calls for unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine in order to establish a Jewish commonwealth there.

1946 (Jan.) Anglo-American commission of inquiry visits Palestine and recommends continuation of the British Mandate.

1946 (Sept.) London Conference on the future of Palestine to consider British proposals for its division into Jewish and Arab provinces under a British High Commissioner. Representatives of some Arab governments attend the conference but no representatives of Palestinian Arabs or Zionists attend.

Zionist terrorist attacks against the British intensify.

1947 (Feb.) British decide to relinquish the Palestine Mandate.

(Apr.) UN General Assembly opens a special session on the Palestine problem.

(Nov.) UN recommends partition of Palestine.

1948 (May)
With Britain out of Palestine, the Jews proclaim the area as the Jewish state of Israel. Arab armies invade Zionist colonies and reclaim some Palestinian villages. The Arab state of Palestine is split into three parts: some is taken and incorporated into Israel; the Gaza Strip is held and governed by Egypt; and the West Bank of the Jordan River is held by Jordan. The UN had proposed that Jerusalem and other holy places become an internationally governed entity. During the fighting, Jerusalem was divided into Israeli West and Jordanian East.

Members of the Irgun and Haganah Zionist military organizations detonate car bombs, shell and destroy Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, and build large weapons arsenals. Palestinian irregulars strike back but cannot match Zionist resources and organization.

Irgun and Stern Gang massacre 245 Palestinian inhabitants of Deir Yassin, a village near Jerusalem.

Over 725,000 Palestinians are driven out of their homeland or flee the fighting that accompanied the establishment of Israel. By 1950, more than one million Palestinians live in UN-supported refugee camps in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, and Jordan.

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