השופט אדמונד לוי הגיש ליועמ"ש את מסקנות דו"ח המאחזים שלו - לישראל מותר להתיישב ע"פ הדין הבינלאומי בכל יו"ש. פיצוי במקום פינוי.
יו"ר הועדה שזכתה לכינוי 'ועדת המאחזים', שופט בית המשפט העליון בדימוס, אדמונד לוי, קובע במסקנות הדו"ח עליו עמלה הועדה בחודשים האחרונים כי לישראל הזכות להתיישב בכל רחבי יהודה ושומרון, כך על פי המשפט הבינלאומי.
השופט לוי מוסיף ומדגיש בדו"ח כי זכותה של ישראל להתיישב בשטחים שבידיה על פי ההסכמים עם הרשות הפלשתינית. כך על פי דיווח ב'ישראל היום'.
את ממצאי הדו"ח העביר השופט לוי לבחינתו של היועץ המשפטי לממשלה, עו"ד יהודה ויינשטיין.
"בתום בחינת עבודה הוועדה ובהתחשב בדברים שנשמעו, המסקנה הבסיסית היא שמנקודת המבט של המשפט הבינלאומי אין דיני 'הכיבוש' חלים בנסיבות ההיסטוריות והמשפטיות המיוחדות של הנוכחות הישראלית ביהודה ושומרון במשך עשרות שנים. כמו כן, אמנת ז'נבה הרביעית בעניין העברת אוכלוסייה אינן חלות ולא נועדה לחול לגבי התיישבות דוגמת זו של ישראל ביו"ש", מצטט העיתון מתוך הדו"ח.
עם זאת צוין בדו"ח כי "ללא אישור הממשלה, הוקמו עשרות שכונות חדשות, לעיתים ללא קיומו של קשר קרקעי רצוף עם יישובי האם, ואף מחוץ לתחום השיפוט שנקבע לו. תופעה נרחבת זו דרשה מימון רב ולכן הוועדה מתקשה להאמין כי נעלמה מעיניהם של שרי הממשלה ואלה שעמדו בראשה".
הועדה קובעת כי במקרה שנבנו ישובים המוגדרים כבלתי מורשים על אדמות מדינה או אדמות שנרכשו ע"י ישראלים, בסיוע של גורמים ממלכתיים, הרי שאין מקום להרוס ולפנות את הישובים ומהלך כזה אינו מעשי. משום כך יש למצוא חלופות בדמות פיצוי לבעלי הקרקע. הועדה קובעת שהמדינה עצמה הובילה למציאות הנוכחית ועל כן אין מקום לבצע הרס בישובים.
הועדה מסכמת וממליצה לממשלה להבהיר את מדיניותה בשאלת ההתיישבות הישראלית ביו"ש כדי למנוע פרשנות של החלטותיה; יישוב חדש יוקם רק לאחר שהממשלה או ועדת שרים שהוסמכה החליטה על כך; והרחבתו של יישוב אל מחוץ לתחום השיפוט טעונה החלטה של שר הביטחון או ועדת שרים לענייני התיישבות, וזאת בידיעת ראש הממשלה.
ועדת לוי ממליצה עוד כי כדי למנוע אי ודאות וכדי לקדם היציבות, מוצע שישראלים ופלשתינים ירשמו את זכויותיהם בקרקעות בתוך תקופת זמן מוגדרת, שבין ארבע לחמש שנים. בסופה מי שלא יבצע את הרישום יאבד את זכויותיו.
כאמור, מסקנות הועדה הועברו לבחינתו של היועץ המשפטי לממשלה ובהמשך יוגשו לראש הממשלה לקבלת החלטות ברוח הדו"ח.
השטחים הלא כבושים
אתמול חמקה מתחת לרדאר התקשורתי ידיעת השבוע, אולי ידיעת השנה: עדנה אדטו חשפה אצלנו ב"ישראל היום" את עיקרי דו"ח הוועדה לבחינת מצב הבנייה ביהודה ושומרון בראשות שופט בית המשפט העליון בדימוס אדמונד לוי. בשקט נוגע הדו"ח בליבת הסכסוך הישראלי-פלשתיני ועושה בו סדר. אפשר לומר שהממשלה קיבלה אישור רשמי להשליך את דו"ח המאחזים של טליה ששון לפח ההיסטוריה.
הדו"ח הנוכחי קובע שיש לישראל זכות ליישב יהודים ביהודה ושומרון, וכי האמירה שההתנחלויות הן מעשה המנוגד לחוק הבינלאומי אינה נכונה:
"על פי המשפט הבינלאומי עומדת לישראלים זכות שבדין להתיישב בכל יהודה ושומרון, ולכל הפחות בשטחים הנתונים לשליטתה של ישראל מכוח הסכמים עם הרשות הפלשתינית, ועל כן ההקמה של היישובים בפני עצמה אינה לוקה באי חוקיות". עוד קובעת הוועדה כי "מנקודת המבט של המשפט הבינלאומי, אין דיני 'הכיבוש' חלים בנסיבות ההיסטוריות והמשפטיות המיוחדות של הנוכחות הישראלית ביהודה ושומרון במשך עשרות שנים".
מאז שנות ה-70 טענו משפטנים בכירים בארץ ובעולם שלישראל זכות מלאה ליישב את אזרחיה בשטחי יהודה ושומרון. אבל מאז מלחמת ששת הימים נמנעה ישראל מלקבוע מעמד סופי בשטחים שהשיגה, למעט ירושלים ורמת הגולן. אל הוואקום הזה הכניסו אהרן ברק ואחרים את הפרדיגמה המשפטית של "תפיסה לוחמתית" (Belligerent Occupation), שלפיה הממשל הצבאי שואב את כוחו מכללי המשפט הבינלאומי ביחס לשטחים שנתפסו במלחמה. המשמעות היא שישראל נחשבת לכאורה פולש זר, ואין לה זכות להחיל ריבונות או להעביר לשם אוכלוסייה אזרחית וכו'. חלק ניכר מהצעדים שגורמים משפטיים ופוליטיים עוינים ביצעו נגד מפעל ההתיישבות ביו"ש, נבעו מהתפיסה הזאת. המהלכים הללו, שמטרתם היתה חנק מפעל ההתיישבות, קיבלו בפרקליטות צידוק באמצעות התפיסה הלוחמתית.
אם השטחים אינם כבושים, טען השמאל במשך שנים, יש לספחם, לרבות האוכלוסייה שבתוכם. אבל המציאות אינה קוטבית אלא מורכבת. הדו"ח הנוכחי מכיר במצב ביניים: מדובר בשטח שבמחלוקת; "שניים אוחזין" בשטח, איש מהם אינו נחשב "כובש". קיימת מחלוקת על הבעלות שצריכה להתברר באמצעים שונים, אבל אין כאן הגדרה של "כיבוש" במובן המשפטי הבינלאומי.
תפיסה לוחמתית מתקיימת כאשר מדינה כובשת שטחים ממדינה אחרת. במקרה שלנו, הריבון האחרון היה המנדט הבריטי שקיבל סמכותו מחבר הלאומים כדי להקים בית לאומי לעם היהודי בארץ ישראל. הכיבוש הירדני לא הוכר מעולם (למעט בריטניה ופקיסטן), וישראל לא כבשה "שטחים ירדניים", מה גם שירדן התנערה מהם לקראת סוף שנות ה-80.
נקודה דרמטית היא היחס ליישובים שלא קדמה להקמתם החלטת ממשלה ("לא מורשים"). הדו"ח קובע כי מכיוון שהקמתם ופיתוחם נעשו לאורך השנים בידיעתו, בעידודו ובהסכמתו של הדרג המדיני הבכיר ביותר, "יש לראות בהתנהלות זו הסכמה" מצד הממשלה. משום כך "צעד של פינוי ביישובים אלו אינו מעשי ויש למצוא פתרון אחר, כגון תשלום פיצוי או הצעת קרקע חלופה". לפיכך הוועדה מציעה למדינה להימנע מביצועם של צווי הריסה ביישובים אלו, שהיא בעצם אחראית להקמתם.
אם הממשלה תאמץ את מסקנות הדו"ח, פירוש הדבר שהחבר'ה של מייק בלאס בפרקליטות לא יוכלו להתכחש בשם המדינה ליישובים הללו ולקדם את הריסתם בטענות משפטיות יבשות. הממשלה עשתה פה צעד אדיר בכיוון הנכון, למגינת ליבם של אויבי ההתיישבות, ולשמחת תומכיה המהווים מרבית הציבור היהודי בישראל. עכשיו תתחיל מלחמת עולם נגד הדו"ח ונגד השופט אדמונד לוי. תישלפנה הטענות העבשות הרגילות וההשמצות האישיות; ארגוני השמאל יגייסו חברים בעולם, והאליטה המשפטית המנוכרת תילחם בדבר הטבעי ביותר לנו כעם: החזרה הביתה אל חבלי המולדת שלנו, ערש לאומיותנו. לא צריך להתרגש יותר מדי; ממש לשם כך נבחרה הממשלה. זה רצון רוב העם, זה גם צו ההיסטוריה.
British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the Mandate instrument passed by the League of Nations granting Britain a mandate over the territories of the Ottoman Empire, that today are the State of Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan. For a history of the period, see Mandatory Palestine and Emirate of Transjordan.
The British Mandate for Palestine, shortly Mandate for Palestine, or the Palestine Mandate was a League of Nations mandate for the territory that had formerly constituted the Ottoman Empire sanjaks of Nablus, Acre, the Southern part of the Vilayet of Syria, the Southern portion of the Beirut Vilayet, and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, prior to the Armistice of Mudros.
The draft of the Mandate for Palestine was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922, supplemented via the 16 September 1922 Trans-Jordan memorandum and then came into effect on 29 September 1923 following the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne. The mandate ended at midnight on 14 May 1948. The Palestine Mandate legalized the temporary rule of Palestine by Great Britain.
The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920, by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, "until such time as they are able to stand alone." The approximate northern border with the French Mandate was agreed upon in the Paulet–Newcombe Agreement of 23 December 1920.
Transjordan had been a no man's land following the July 1920 Battle of Maysalun. During this period, the British chose to avoid any definite connection with Palestine until a March 1921 conference at which it was agreed thatAbdullah bin Hussein would administer the territory under the auspices of the Palestine Mandate. The Trans-Jordan Memorandum annulled the articles regarding the Jewish National Home in the territory east of the Jordan. It also established a separate "Administration of Trans-Jordan" for the application of the Mandate, under the general supervision of Great Britain. On 18 April 1946, Transjordan was formally separated from the Palestine Mandate, with Abdullah remaining the king.
Military defeat of the Ottoman Empire
When the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in the First World War in April 1915, it threatened Britain's communications with India via the Suez Canal, besides other strategic interests of the allies. The conquest of Palestine became part of British strategies aimed at establishing a land bridge between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. This would enable rapid deployment of troops to the Gulf, then the forward line of defence for British interests in India, and protect against invasion from the north by Russia. A land bridge was also an alternative to the Suez Canal.
In response to French initiatives, the United Kingdom established the de Bunsen Committee in 1915 to consider the nature of British objectives in Turkey and Asia in the event of a successful conclusion of the war. The committee considered various scenarios and provided guidelines for negotiations with France, Italy, and Russia regarding the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Committee recommended in favour of the creation of a decentralised and federal Ottoman state in Asia.
At the same time, the British and French also opened overseas fronts with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamiancampaigns. In Gallipoli, the Turks successfully repelled the British, French and Australian and New Zealand Army Corps(ANZACs).
From 1915, Zionist leader and anglophile Ze'ev Jabotinsky was pressing the British to agree to the formation of a Zionist volunteer corps that would serve under the aegis of the British army. The British eventually agreed to set up the Zion Mule Corps, which assisted in the failed invasion of Gallipoli. After Lloyd George was made prime minister during the war, the British waged the Sinai and Palestine Campaign under General Allenby. This time the British agreed to a "Jewish Legion", which participated in the invasion. Russian Jews regarded the German army as a liberator and the creation of the Legion was designed to encourage them to participate in the war on Britain's side.
At the same time, British intelligence officer T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") was encouraging an Arab Revolt led by the Sharif of Mecca.
Occupied Enemy Territory Administration
The Ottoman Empire capitulated on 30 October 1918, and on 23 November 1918, a military edict was issued dividing Ottoman territories into "occupied enemy territory administrations" (OETAs). The Middle East was divided into three OETAs. Occupied Enemy Territory Administration South extended from the Egyptian border of Sinai into Palestine and Lebanon as far north as Acre and Nablus and as far east as the River Jordan. A temporary British military governor Major General Sir Arthur Wigram Money would administer this sector. At that time, General Allenby assuredAmir Faisal "that the Allies were in honour bound to endeavour to reach a settlement in accordance with the wishes of the peoples concerned and urged him to place his trust whole-heartedly in their good faith."
In 1916, Britain and France concluded the Sykes–Picot Agreement, which proposed to divide the Middle East between them into spheres of influence, with "Palestine" as an international enclave. The British made two potentially conflicting promises regarding the territory it was expecting to acquire. In the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence of 1915 Britain had promised Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, through T. E. Lawrence, independence for an Arab country covering most of the Arab Middle East in exchange for his support, while also promising to create and foster a Jewish national home in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement did not call for Arab sovereignty, but for the "suzerainty of an Arab chief" and "an international administration, the form of which is to be decided upon after consultation with Russia, and subsequently in consultation with the other allies, and the representatives of the Sherif of Mecca." Under the terms of that agreement, the Zionist Organization needed to secure an agreement along the lines of the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement with the Sherif of Mecca.
At the Peace Conference in 1919, Emir Faisal, speaking on behalf of King Hussein, asked for Arab independence, or at minimum the right to pick the mandatory. In the end, he recommended an Arab state under a British mandate.The World Zionist Organization also asked for a British mandate, and asserted the 'historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine'.
A confidential appendix to the report of the 1919 King-Crane Commission observed that "The Jews are distinctly for Britain as mandatory power, because of the Balfour declaration' and that the French 'resent the payment by the English to the Emir Faisal of a large monthly subsidy, which they claim covers a multitude of bribes, and enables the British to stand off and show clean hands while Arab agents do dirty work in their interest." The Faisal-Weizmann Agreementcalled for British mediation of any disputes. It also called for the establishment of borders, after the Versailles peace conference, by a commission to be formed for the purpose. The World Zionist Organization later submitted to the peace conference a proposed map of the territory that did not include the area east of the Hedjaz Railway, including most ofTransjordan. In the San Remo Conference (24 April 1920) the Mandate for Palestine was allocated to Great Britain. France required the continuation of its religious protectorate in Palestine but Italy and Great Britain opposed it. France lost the religious protectorate but thanks to the Holy See continued to enjoy liturgical honors in Mandatory Palestine until 1924 when the honours were abolished (see: Protectorate of the Holy See).
During and after World War I, Britain made conflicting and shifting commitments regarding the future division and governance of the region, including those announced in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, and the Churchill White Paper of 1922. At the San Remo conference, the boundaries of the mandated territories were not precisely defined.Chaim Weizmann subsequently reported to his colleagues in London: "There are still important details outstanding, such as the actual terms of the mandate and the question of the boundaries in Palestine. There is the delimitation of the boundary between French Syria and Palestine, which will constitute the northern frontier and the eastern line of demarcation, adjoining Arab Syria. The latter is not likely to be fixed until the Emir Faisal attends the Peace Conference, probably in Paris."
In a meeting at Deauville in 1919, David Lloyd George of the UK and Georges Clemenceau of France finalised the Anglo-French Settlement of 1–4 December 1918. The new agreement allocated Palestine and the Vilayet of Mosul to the British in exchange for British support of French influence in Syria and Lebanon.
At the Paris Peace Conference, Prime Minister Lloyd George told Georges Clemenceau and the other allies that the McMahon-Hussein correspondence was a treaty obligation. He explained that the agreement with Hussein had actually been the basis for the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and that the French could not use the proposed League Of Nations Mandate system to break the terms of the agreement. He pointed out that the French had agreed not to occupy the area of the independent Arab state, or confederation of states, with their military forces, including the areas of Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo. Arthur Balfour(later Lord Balfour, British Foreign Secretary at the time) and President Woodrow Wilson were present at the meeting.
The open negotiations began at the Paris Peace Conference, continued at the Conference of London and took definite shape only after the San Remo conference in April 1920. There the Allied Supreme Council granted the mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia to Britain, and those for Syria and Lebanon to France. In August 1920, this was officially acknowledged in the Treaty of Sèvres. Both Zionist and Arab representatives attended the conference, where they signed the Faisal–Weizmann Agreement. The agreement was never implemented.
Legal basis and drafting of the mandate
The mandate was a legal and administrative instrument, not a geographical territory. The territorial jurisdiction of the mandate was subject to change by treaty, capitulation, grant, usage, sufferance or other lawful means.
The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the draft Covenant of the League of Nations and the San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920 by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalised British rule in the southern part of Ottoman Syria from 1923–1948.
Each of the principal Allied powers had a hand in drafting the proposed mandate—although some, including the United States, had not declared war on the Ottoman Empire and did not become members of the League of Nations.
Spring 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference, informal discussion began between the Zionist Organisation and British representatives. A first draft was presented on 15 July 1919. After Lord Curzon had replaced Arthur Balfour as Foreign Secretary, the draft was reconsidered. A second draft was presented on 10 June 1920. In the second draft, the paragraph recognizing the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine was removed from the preamble. "self-governing commonwealth" was replaced by "self-governing institutions". Also, "The recognition of the establishment of the Jewish National Home as the guiding principle in the execution of the Mandate" was omitted from the first draft. After strenuous objection to the proposed changes, the statement regarding the historical connections of the Jews with Palestine was re-incorporated into the Mandate in December 1920. The draft was submitted to the League of Nations on 6 December 1920.
Establishment of a national home for the Jewish people
The preamble of the mandate document declared:
The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, together with the Italian and French governments rejected early drafts of the mandate because they had contained a passage which read: "Recognizing, moreover, the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the claim which this gives them to reconstitute it their national home..."
The Palestine Committee set up by the Foreign Office recommended that the reference to 'the claim' be omitted. The Allies had already noted the historical connection in the Treaty of Sèvres, but they had not acknowledged a legal claim. Lord Balfour suggested an alternative which was accepted:
The Vatican, the Italian, and the French governments continued to press their own legal claims on the basis of the former Protectorate of the Holy See and the French Protectorate of Jerusalem. The idea of an International Commission to resolve claims on the Holy Places had been formalised in Article 95 of the Treaty of Sèvres, and taken up again in article 14 of the Palestinian Mandate. Negotiations concerning the formation and the role of the commission were partly responsible for the delay in ratifying the mandate. The UK assumed responsibility for the Holy Places under Article 13 of the mandate. However, it never created the Commission on Holy Places to resolve the other claims in accordance with Article 14 of the mandate.
The High Commissioner established the authority of the Orthodox Rabbinate over the members of the Jewish community and retained a modified version of the old Ottoman Millet system. Formal recognition was extended to eleven religious communities, which did not include the non-Orthodox Jewish or Protestant Christian denominations.
Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations
The preamble of the Mandate document states that the Mandate is granted to Britain "for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations". That article, which concerns entrusting "tutelage" of colonies formerly under German and Turkish sovereignty to "advanced nations" with specific regard to "[c]ommunities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire" that they "have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone." Throughout the period of the Mandate, Palestinian leaders cited this as proving their assertion that the British were obliged under the terms of the Mandate to facilitate the eventual creation of an independent Arab state in Palestine.
Background and negotiations
The future Transjordan had been part of the Syrian administrative unit under the Ottomans. It was part of the captured territory placed under the Allied Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA).
Under the terms of the McMahon-Hussein correspondence and Sykes-Picot agreements, Transjordan was to be part of an Arab state or confederation of Arab states. The proposed Arab state and Jewish national home called for separate boundaries and administrative regimes in the sub-districts of historical Palestine (west of the Jordan River) and Transjordan (east of the Jordan River). However, the area east of a line from Damascus, Homs, Hamma, and Aleppo – including most of Transjordan – had been pledged in 1915 as part of an undertaking between the UK and the Sharif Hussein of Mecca. The area east of the Jordan River 'was included in the areas as to which Great Britain [sic] pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future'. In 1918, the British military retreated from Trans-Jordan, in an indication of their political ideas about the future of the territory, which according to their position was designated to be part of the Arab Syrian state.
In August 1919, Balfour stated that he wanted Palestine to be defined to include some of the lands lying east of the Jordan, but not the Hedjaz Railway. At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the British officials presented a proposal including maps showing the eastern boundary of Palestine located just 10km east of the Jordan.
At the Peace Conference, the Zionist Organization's claims did also not include any territory east of the Hedjaz Railway. The railway ran parallel with and about 35-40 miles (about 60km) east of the Jordan river. The Faisal-Weizmann Agreement provided that the boundaries between the Arab state and Palestine should be determined by a commission after the Paris Peace Conference.
On 13 September 1919, a memorandum was handed from Lloyd George to Georges Clemenceau which stated that British Palestine would be "defined in accordance with its ancient boundaries of Dan to Beersheba".
The territory east of the Jordan between Damascus and Ma'an had been ruled as part of Faisal's Kingdom of Syriasince the end of the war. The British were content with that arrangement because Faisal was a British ally and the region fell within the indirect sphere of British influence according to the Sykes-Picot agreement. They favoured Arab rule in the interior, because they didn't have enough troops to garrison the territory. Damascus was located in the French indirect sphere of influence, and the Sykes-Picot agreement called for Arab rule there too.
The boundaries of the Palestine Mandate were not defined when it was awarded in April 1920 at the San Remo conference. In a telegram to the Foreign Office summarising the conclusions of the San Remo conference, the Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, stated: "The boundaries will not be defined in Peace Treaty but are to be determined at a later date by principal Allied Powers". When Samuel set up the civil mandatory government in mid-1920 he asked to put parts of Transjordan directly under his administrative control but was declined due to London's unwillingness to commit any significant resources to this area.Following the French occupation of Damascus in July 1920, the French, acting in accordance with their wartime agreements with Britain, refrained from extending their rule south into Transjordan. That autumn Emir Faisal's brother, Abdullah, led a band of armed men north from the Hedjaz into Transjordan and threatened to attack Syria and vindicate the Hashemites' right to overlordship there. In March 1921 the Colonial Secretary, Winston Churchill, convened theCairo Conference which endorsed an arrangement whereby Transjordan would be added to the Palestine mandate, with Abdullah as the emir under the authority of the High Commissioner, and with the condition that the Jewish National Home provisions of the Palestine mandate would not apply there. When France occupied Damascus in July 1920, the situation had changed dramatically. The British suddenly wanted to know 'what is the "Syria" for which the French received a mandate at San Remo?' and "does it include Transjordania?". British Foreign Minister Curzon ultimately decided that it did not and that Transjordan would remain independent, but in the closest relation with Palestine.
At the Battle of Maysalun on 23 July 1920, the French removed the newly proclaimed nationalist government of Hashim al-Atassi and expelled King Faisal from Syria. The French formed a new Damascus state after the Battle of Maysalun, and the area of Transjordan became for a time a no-man's land. As a result,Curzon instructed Vansittart in August 1920 to leave the eastern boundary of Palestine undefined, stating:
At the same time, British Foreign Secretary Earl Curzon wrote to the High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, in August 1920, stating, "I suggest that you should let it be known forthwith that in the area south of the Sykes-Picot line, we will not admit French authority and that our policy for this area to be independent but in closest relations with Palestine." Samuel replied to Curzon, "After the fall of Damascus a fortnight ago...Sheiks and tribes east of Jordan utterly dissatisfied with Shareefian Government most unlikely would accept revival." He subsequently announced that Transjordan was under British Mandate. Without authority from London, Samuel then visited Transjordan and at a meeting with 600 leaders in Salt, announced the independence of the area from Damascus and its absorption into the mandate, quadrupling the area under his control by tacit capitulation. Samuel assured his audience that Transjordan would not be merged with Palestine. The foreign secretary, Lord Curzon, repudiated Samuel's action.
Two months later, on 21 November, Abdullah, the brother of recently deposed King Faisal, marched into Ma'an at the head of an army of 300 men.
In early 1921, prior to the convening of the Cairo Conference, the Middle East Department of the Colonial Office set out the situation as follows:
The Cairo Conference of March 1921 was convened by Winston Churchill, then Britain's Colonial Secretary. With the mandates of Palestine and Iraq awarded to Britain, Churchill wished to consult with Middle East experts. At his request, Gertrude Bell, Sir Percy Cox, T. E. Lawrence, Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, Sir Arnold T. Wilson, Iraqi minister of war Jaʿfar alAskari, Iraqi minister of finance Sasun Effendi (Sasson Heskayl), and others gathered in Cairo, Egypt. An additional outstanding question was the policy to be adopted in Transjordan to prevent anti-French military actions from being launched within the allied British zone of influence. The Hashemites were Associated Powers during the war, and a peaceful solution was urgently needed. The two most significant decisions of the conference were to offer the throne of Iraq to Emir Faisal ibn Hussein (who became Faisal I of Iraq) and an emirate of Transjordan (now Jordan) to his brother Abdullah ibn Hussein (who became Abdullah I of Jordan). The conference provided the political blueprint for British administration in both Iraq and Transjordan, and in offering these two regions to the sons of Sharif Hussein ibn Ali of the Hedjaz, Churchill stated that the spirit, if not the letter, of Britain's wartime promises to the Arabs might be fulfilled. After further discussions between Churchill and Abdullah in Jerusalem, it was mutually agreed that Transjordan was accepted into the mandatory area as an Arab country apart from Palestine with the proviso that it would be, initially for six months, under the nominal rule of the Emir Abdullah and that it would not form part of the Jewish national home to be established west of the River Jordan.
On 21 March 1921, the Foreign and Colonial office legal advisers decided to introduce Article 25 into the Palestine Mandate. It was approved by Curzon on 31 March 1921, and the revised final draft of the mandate (including Transjordan) was forwarded to the League of Nations on 22 July 1922.
Article 25 and Transjordan memorandum
Article 25 permitted the mandatory to "postpone or withhold application of such provisions of the mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions" in that region. The final text of the Mandate includes an Article 25 which states:
On submission of the memorandum to the Council of the League of Nations, Balfour explained the background as recorded in the minutes: "Lord Balfour reminded his colleagues that Article 25 of the mandate for Palestine as approved by the Council in London on July 24th, 1922, provides that the territories in Palestine which lie east of the Jordan should be under a somewhat different regime from the rest of Palestine. ... The British Government now merely proposed to carry out this article. It had always been part of the policy contemplated by the League and accepted by the British Government, and the latter now desired to carry it into effect. In pursuance of the policy, embodied in Article 25, Lord Balfour invited the Council to pass a series of resolutions which modified the mandate as regards those territories. The object of these resolutions was to withdraw from Trans-Jordania the special provisions which were intended to provide a national home for the Jews west of the Jordan."
When the Inter-Allied Conference at San Remo adjourned in April 1920, the definition of Palestine had not been discussed. In a recent essay, Sanford Silverburg stated that "a Palestine within the western political understanding of the term simply never existed." He observed that the failure to establish a western-based territorial element or frame of reference had clouded discussions and cited the claim that Transjordan had been detached from Palestine as a non-sequitur.
That agreement was formalised before the mandate officially went into effect. An article was included in the Mandate for Palestine which allowed the UK to postpone or withhold unspecified provisions from the lands which lay to the east of the Jordan River. On 16 September 1922, the League of Nations approved a British memorandum detailing its intended implementation of that clause, namely to exclude Transjordan from the articles related to Jewish settlement.
With the League of Nations' consent on 16 September 1922, the Mandate territory was formalised by the UK with the creation of two administrative areas,Palestine, under direct British rule, and autonomous Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from the Kingdom of Hejaz in present-day Saudi Arabia, in accordance with the McMahon Correspondence of 1915. Following the 1922 Transjordan memorandum, the area east of the Jordan river became exempt from the Mandate provisions concerning the Jewish National Home.
The British Foreign Office confirmed the position in 1946, in discussions over the independence of Transjordan, stating that "the clauses of the Palestine Mandate relating to the establishment of a Jewish national home were, with the approval of the League of Nations, never applied in Transjordan. His Majesty's Government have therefore never considered themselves under any obligation to apply them there".
Governance of Transjordan
Transfer of authority to an Arab government took place gradually in Transjordan, starting with Abdullah's appointment as Emir of Transjordan on 1 April 1921, and the formation of his first government on 11 April 1921. The independent administration was recognised in a statement made in Amman on 25 April 1923: "Subject to the approval of the League of Nations, His Britannic Majesty will recognize the existence of an independent Government in Trans-jordan under the rule of His Highness the Amir Abdullah, provided that such Government is constitutional and places His Britannic Majesty in a position to fulfil his international obligations in respect of the territory by means of an Agreement to be concluded with His Highness"
During the eleventh session of the League of Nations' Permanent Mandates Commission in 1927, Sir John Shuckburgh summarised the status of Transjordan:
Transfer of most administrative functions occurred in 1928, including the creation of the post of High Commissioner for Transjordan. The status of the mandate was not altered by the agreement between the United Kingdom and the Emirate concluded on 20 February 1928. It recognised the existence of an independent government in Transjordan and defined and limited its powers. The ratifications were exchanged on 31 October 1929."
Britain retained mandatory authority over the region until it became independent as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in 1946. The juridical status of the mandate under the Palestine Mandate Convention remained unchanged pending a decision on the Palestine question by the United Nations or Transjordan's admission to the United Nations as an independent state. See Termination of the Mandate.
Religious and communal issues
Article 14 of the Mandate required Britain to establish a commission to study, define, and determine the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. This provision, which called for the creation of a commission to review the religious status quo between the religious communities, was never created.
Article 15 required the mandatory administration to see to it that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship were permitted.
The proviso to the objective of the mandate was that "nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine".
The Northern boundary between the British and French mandates was defined in broad terms by the Franco-British Boundary Agreement of December 1920. That agreement placed the bulk of the Golan Heights in the French sphere. The treaty also established a joint commission to settle the precise border and mark it on the ground. The commission submitted its final report on 3 February 1922, and it was approved with some caveats by the British and French governments on 7 March 1923, several months before Britain and France assumed their Mandatory responsibilities on 29 September 1923. Under the treaty, Syrian and Lebanese residents would have the same fishing and navigation rights on Lake Hula, Lake Tiberias, and the Jordan River as citizens of the Palestine Mandate, but the government of Palestine would be responsible for policing of the lakes. The Zionist movement pressured the French and British to include as much water sources as possible to Palestine during the demarcating negotiations. These constant demands influenced the negotiators and finally led to the inclusion of the whole Sea of Galilee, both sides of the Jordan river, Lake Hula, Dan spring, and part of the Yarmouk. The High Commissioner of Palestine, Herbert Samuel, had demanded full control of the Sea of Galilee. The new border followed a 10-meter wide strip along the northeastern shore.
Following the settlement of the Northern border issue, the British and French governments signed on 2 February 1926 an Agreement of good neighbourly Relations between the mandated territories of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
The Southern border between Palestine and Egypt was left unchanged from the border established between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire in 1906.
The Southern border between Transjordan and Arabia was left undefined whilst Abdullah's father remained in power in theKingdom of Hejaz. However, following the 1924-25 Saudi conquest of Hejaz, the Hashemite army fled to the northern Ma'an province of Hejaz, which was then annexed by Transjordan. This was formalised by the 1925 Hadda agreement, with the resulting zig-zag border becoming known as Winston's Hiccup.
Administrative divisions in Palestine
The August 1922 Palestine Order in Council provided that:
Approvals and Ratification
Ottoman / Turkish ratification
The decision taken by the Allied Supreme Council at the San Remo conference was documented in the Treaty of Sèvres, signed on behalf of the Ottoman Empire and Allies on 10 August 1920. However, the treaty was never ratified by the Ottoman government, because it required the agreement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Ataturk expressed disdain for the treaty, and continued the fight known as the Turkish War of Independence.
In November 1922, the Conference of Lausanne began, with the intention to negotiate a treaty to replace the failed Treaty of Sèvres. In the Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923 and ratified on 28 September 1923, the Turkish government finally recognised the detachment of the regions south of the frontier agreed in the Treaty of Ankara (1921), thereby making a general renunciation of its sovereignty over Palestine.
League of Nations approval
The text of the Mandate for Palestine was approved by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922. However, this would not come into effect until a treaty between the Turkish government and the Allies was ratified and a dispute between France and Italy over the Syria Mandate was settled. The latter requirement was due to the perceived need for the legal regime to begin at the same time as the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
Following the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne on 28 September 1923, the dispute between France and Italy was reported as settled. The Council of the League of Nations determined that the two mandates had come into effect at its meeting of 29 September 1923.
The Official Journal of the League of Nations, dated June 1922, contained an interview with Lord Balfour in which he opined that the League's authority was strictly limited. According to Balfour –
United States acceptance
The United States was not a member of the League of Nations, and consequently was not required to officially state its position on the legality of the Palestinian Mandate. However, the US government accepted the de facto, if not de jure, status of the mandates and entered into individual treaties with the mandatory power to secure legal rights for its citizens and to protect property rights and business interests in the mandates. In the case of Palestine, on 3 December 1924, it entered into a bilateral treaty with Britain in the Palestine Mandate Convention, in which the United States "consents to the administration" (Article 1) and which dealt with eight issues of concern to the United States.
Key Mandate dates from assignment to coming into effect