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Ottoman (Turkish) forces ruled Palestine for nearly four centuries. In December 1917 General Allenby stood on the steps of the Tower of David and declared Jerusalem free. In 1922, British military control of Palestine passed to British civil control under a mandate from the League of Nations (hence Mandatory Palestine). In May 1948, the British abruptly departed, and Israel declared independence, creating the world's first and only Jewish state. In the intervening years the British came in for a lot of criticism, from both Jews and Arabs. They tried to limit Jewish immigration, at a time when refugees from the Holocaust were trying to find a home. Arabs meanwhile believed the Jews received preferential treatment.

More to follow.

Further reading: if you have any interest in this subject, you are strongly recommended to read the Mandate document kindly posted by K9 (see British Mandate in Palestine). This document explains the legal basis for the Mandate, and how it was supposed to operate.

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