The Handbook of Palestine
Royal Asiatic Society
Geography and History

PART I. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY.Edit

§ I. IntroductoryEdit

Palestine is bounded on the north by the French sphere of Syria, on the west by the Mediterranean, on the south by Egyptian and Hejaz territory, the boundary running from a point west of Rafa on the Mediterranean to east of Taba at the head of the Gulf of Akaba, and then north-east. On the east is the territory of Trans-jordania, which is included in the area of the Palestine Mandate.

The boundary on the north was determined by the Franco-British Convention of the 23rd December, 1920, and was delimited in 1922. It runs from the Mediterranean at Ras al-Nakura eastwards to Yarun, thence N.E. to the village of Kades, thence N.N.E. to Metullah and across the upper Jordan Valley to Banias, thence S.S.W. to Jisr Benat Yaqub, thence southwards along the Jordan to Lake Tiberias, thence along the eastern shore of the Lake of Tiberias to a point almost due east of the town of Tiberias, thence S.S.E. to al-Hamneh Station on the Semakh-Deraa railway. The Huleh basin and all the Lake of Tiberias are thus within the borders of Palestine.

The area of Palestine according to the Turkish admini- strative divisions was 13,724 square miles. The area of Palestine under British administration, excluding Trans- jordania, is something over 9,000 square miles, with an


2 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

estimated population (1922) of about 754,500. Of these about 583,000 are Moslems, 84,500 Christians, and 79,300 Jews. These figures do not include the garrison.

§ 2. Geography and Scenery.

General. — ' Within the limits of a province,' it is stated in the High Commissioner's interim report on Palestine for 1920-21, Palestine ' offers the varieties of soil and climate of a continent. It is a country of mountain and plain, of desert and pleasant valleys, of lake and sea-board, of barren hills, desolate to the last degree of desolation, and of broad stretches of deep, fruitful soil.' The most important geographical fact in Palestine is the deep fissure of the Jordan Valley, which divides Palestine proper so distinctly from Trans-jordania. Palestine is, generally speaking, a mountainous plateau which forms an extension of the Lebanon chain and runs southwards till it loses itself in the desert or is linked up with the mountainous part of the Sinai Peninsula. More than two-thirds of the country lie on the western side of the watershed, and on the western side the slopes are gradual ; on the east they are precipitous and are broken by valleys of great depth.

The country may be divided into three sub-regions, the coastal plain, the mountainous plateau, and the desert.

The Coastal Plain. — The coastal plain varies considerably in width between Acre, its northern, and Gaza, its southern extremity. At Acre its width is about 4 miles ; farther south, at Haifa, it widens out into the Plain of Esdraelon, which intersects the whole country ; south of Haifa, as it rounds the buttress of Mount Carmel, it is reduced to a bare 200 yards. Southwards from Athlit it expands to a width of about 20 miles, its breadth at Ascalon. The coastal plain, the northern portion of which is known as the Plain of Sharon, is on the whole extremely fertile, although covered in parts with a shallow layer of sand ; of proverbial fertility, too, is the Plain of Esdraelon, also known in Hebrew times as Armageddon.


GEOGRAPHY AND SCENERY 3

The Plateau Region. — The plateau region is divided by the Plain of Esdraelon into two sections, the hill country of Galilee to the north and the hill country of Samaria and Judaea to the south.

At the southern end of the hills of Galilee rises Mount Tabor (1,845 ft.). The range becomes continuous and increases in height in the neighbourhood of Safed. The highest points of the range are Jermuk (3,934 ft.) and Jebel Heider (3,440 ft.).

The principal highlands of Samaria lie near the water- shed between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. The highest points are Mount. Ebal (3,077 ft.) and Mount Gerizim (2,849 it.) near Nablus, and Tel Asur (3,318ft.) further south. On the eastern side of the watershed the most important feature is the system of deep parallel valleys running from the plain south of Nablus into the Jordan Valley.

The plateau of Judaea takes the form of a long zig-zag central spine which throws out a series of steep spurs to east and west. South of Hebron the range becomes lower and finally loses itself in the desert. On the western side of the watershed the plateau of Judaea extends about half- way to the sea, broken by deep valleys. On the east side it descends abruptly within 20 miles from a maximum of over 3,000 feet above sea-level to 1,300 feet below sea-level to the Lower Jordan and the Dead Sea. The slopes are mere rocky wastes, almost without vegetation and water, inhabited only by a few Beduin and hermits. They descend in a series of terraces sometimes terminating in walls of cliff, such as the Mount of Temptation above Jericho, and are deeply seamed by profound caiions such as Mar Saba and the Wadi Qelt.

The Desert. — The desert country is, roughly speaking, a rectangle, of which the corners are Gaza, Beersheba, Rafa and al-Auja. East and south-east of this rectangle is a broken mountainous region falling to the east in a series of terraced escarpments to the Wadi Araba and the depression at the southern extremity of the Dead Sea. Farther south and east are the deserts of Sinai and Northern Arabia.


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Lakes. — Palestine possesses a geographical feature unique in the world in the Jordan Valley, or Ghor, and the chain of lakes through which the Jordan flows. Rising near Banias at a height of about 3,000 feet above sea-level, the Jordan enters Lake Huleh (the Waters of Merom) , whose surface is 7 feet above sea-level. The depth of Lake Huleh varies from 10 to 16 feet ; its width is 4 miles from north to south and 3 miles from east to west at its broadest point. Between Lake Huleh and the Lake of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) the river drops 690 feet in a distance of 10 miles, and becomes a narrow turbulent stream.

The Lake of Tiberias is 13^ miles long and 7^ miles broad. The surface is 682 feet below sea-level, and the greatest depth 160 feet. The northern end of the Lake is muddy, this being due to the turbulent nature of the Jordan, but its southern part is quite clear and is potable, except in the neighbourhood of the town of Tiberias. The Lake, as in biblical days, is liable to sudden storms, and the local boat- men avoid, so far as possible, crossing its centre after mid-day.

Between the Lake of Tiberias and the Dead Sea, whose surface lies 1,292 feet below sea-level, the Jordan falls nearly 600 feet. The Dead Sea, called by the Arabs Bahr Lut (the Lake of Lot), is 48 miles long and 10 miles wide at its greatest breadth, both dimensions being almost identical with those of the Lake of Geneva. Its maximum depth is 1,310 feet, but its southern extremity is shallow, and is separated from the principal basin by a low-lying peninsula called al-Lisan (' The Tongue '). It has been calculated that 6^ million tons of water fall into the Dead Sea daily, and, in con- sequence of the extraordinary evaporation which ensues, the water remaining behind is impregnated to an unusual extent with mineral substances. The water contains about 25 per cent, of solid substances, chloride of sodium (common salt) contributing 7 per cent. The water has a bitter and nauseous taste, due to the chloride of magnesium, while the chloride of calcium makes it smooth and oily to the touch. Owing to the intense buoyancy of the water, swimming is


GEOGRAPHY AND SCENERY 5

difficult, as the feet have too great a tendency to rise to the surface. Fish cannot hve in Dead Sea water, which, indeed, destroys practically all organic life.

The Jordan Valley itself seldom exceeds 3 miles in width until it reaches Jericho and the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea. It is highly fertile, and across it the Jordan winds with unending sinuosities.

Harbours and Rivers. — The principal ports of Palestine are, beginning in the north. Acre, Haifa, Jaffa and Gaza, which will be described from the commercial point of view in another part of this Handbook.

The principal rivers of Palestine, other than the Jordan, and apart from wadis running dry in summer, are the Jarmuk, the Kishon (Nahr Muqatta), the Zerqa and the Auja.

Coast-line. — The shore along the whole coast-line of Palestine is conspicuously uniform and low, mainly con- sisting of long shallow curves of low sandy beach. With the exception of the headland of Mount Carmel there are no strongly marked prominences producing sheltered bays. The small estuaries of the coastal streams are usually closed by sand-bars.

§ 3. Palestine in Biblical Times.

Meaning of the term * Palestine.' — The term ' Palestine ' originally denoted only the coast strip once ruled by the Philistines, 1 but had come by the beginning of the Christian era to denote the territory lying between the ' River of Egypt ' and Lake Huleh. Under the Roman Empire the province of Palaestina extended along the coast from a point near Rafa to Caesarea, and inland across the Jordan to Gerasa and Canatha in what is now the Hauran. In the last years of the Roman Empire and under Byzantine rule the country was divided into Palaestina Prima, corresponding roughly to Judaea, P. Secunda, corresponding roughly to Galilee, and P. Tertia, cor- responding to Arabia Felix. In this Handbook the term

IC/. Part III., §5.


6 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

Palestine denotes the British Mandatory area exclusive of Trans-jordania.

Early Days. — From the earliest period of history Palestine has been inhabited by peoples of Semitic race, who moved from Arabia to Syria and Palestine in a long series of immigrations. The Canaanitish immigration is the oldest of which we know with certainty, its earliest w^ave including the Phoenicians, who penetrated farthest to the west. Following the example of the Old Testament, we are accustomed to call the tribes who settled to the west of the Jordan by the collective name of Canaanites, though they are probably more correctly specified by the older biblical writers as Amorites. At a later date seven tribes are specified : Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Girga- zites, Perizzites and Jebusites. The Hittites, as also the Philistines, were non-Semitic. The Tel al-'Amarna tablets (fifteenth century b.c.) refer to the ' Khabiri,' who included the Israelites, Moabites, Amorites and Edomites, and are identified by a once criticized but now increasingly accepted theory with the Hebrews. The Canaanites were followed by the Aramaeans, who were already settled in Trans-jordania under the Kings of Israel. In these early days Palestine was largely dependent upon Egypt, being governed by princes tributary to the Pharaohs. Despite, however, the political supremacy of Egypt the Tel al- 'Amarna tablets, which are written in Babylonian cunei- form, indicate how largely the country lay under the influence of Babylonian culture. Among these tributary princes is mentioned a King of Urusalim (Jerusalem).

Early Jewish History. — The leader of the Israelites, to whom they owed the basis of their religious development, was Moses. Their settlement in the country west of the Jordan was effected very slowly, partly by force of arms, partly by peaceful assimilation with the Canaanites, who at that time occupied a much higher plane of culture than the Israelites. In the Old Testament the Israelites are represented as divided into twelve tribes, several of which, however, became merged in others in prehistoric


PALESTINE IN BIBLICAL TIMES 7

times ; thus the villages of the tribe of Simeon afterwards belonged to Judah, while the tribe of Levi never possessed any territory of its own. It is impossible to determine accurately the districts of the individual tribes, as they were subject to many variations. The boundaries men- tioned in the book of Joshua represent merely a later theory. The central position was occupied by the powerful tribe of Joseph (Ephraim and the Half Tribe of Manasseh). Close to these was the tribe of Benjamin, while the country to the south was occupied by Judah, a tribe equal in power to Joseph. Issachar occupied the Plain of Jezreel, extending to the Jordan. Still farther to the north lay the territory of Zebulon and Naphtali, and on the coast that of Asher. The territory of Dan lay isolated in the extreme north. The southern portion of the country to the east of the Jordan was occupied by Reuben, whose territory, however, was gradually conquered by the Moabites. Similarly Gad and particularly the Half Tribe of Manasseh in Bashan had great difficulty in defending themselves against the incur- sions of their neighbours. According to the oldest historical document, the Song of Deborah (Judges, v.), the men cap- able of bearing arms numbered 40,000, which would imply a total population of about 200,000 Israelites. The estimates of the later writers are exaggerated. The chief bond of union between the tribes at the so-called Period of the Judges was the common veneration of the national deity Yahweh, to whom corresponded Ba'al, the national god of the Canaanites. Both were worshipped on the ' high places,' and for this reason the later Hebrew historians regard the worship of the high places as idolatry.

The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. — The severe contests of the Israelites with their western neighbours, the Philis- tines, led to the establishment of a national kingdom under Saul. The jealousy of the tribes, however, seriously interfered with the stability of this administration.

Soon after the death of Saul, David succeeded in making himself prince of Judah. But it was not till after the murder of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, and his able general.


8 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

Abner, that he succeeded in extending his sway over the other tribes. Under David the kingdom attained its greatest extent. He made Jerusalem, the town of the Jebusites, his capital, delivered the country from the Philis- tines, humbled the Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites, the ancient enemies of Israel, and placed Damascus under tribute. In internal affairs he was successful in suppressing the conspiracy of his son Absolom and the revolt of the northern provinces. He introduced an organized scheme of administration, regulated the fiscal system, and created a small standing army.

The government of Solomon contributed still more to develop the resources of the country. He fortified Jeru- salem and erected a magnificent palace and imposing Temple. His reign seems also to have seen the beginning of the Israelites' successful adoption of the richer culture of the Canaanites and other neighbouring nations. Intercourse with the neighbouring nations, especially with Egypt, became more active. After a brief period of prosperity, however, the decline of the empire began. Damascus threw off the yoke of the Israelites, Edom revolted, and dissensions sprang up in the interior. On the death of Solomon the kingdom fell into two parts : Judah to the south and Israel to the north.

First Shechem and then Tirzah was made the capital of the Northern Kingdom, or Kingdom of Israel, by Jeroboam I., but the seat of government was afterwards removed to Samaria by Omri. Owing to the constant discord and jealousy which disquieted the rival kingdoms, as well as their internal dissensions, they fell an easy prey to the encroachments of their neighbours. The princes of Dam- ascus undertook several successful campaigns against the northern kingdom, and it was not until the reign of Jeroboam II. (785-745 b.c.) that the kingdom again attained to its former dimensions. From this period dates the stele of King Mesha of Moab, the most ancient monument bearing a Semitic inscription yet discovered.

By the middle of the eighth century the Assyrians had


PALESTINE IN BIBLICAL TIMES 9

succeeded in making serious encroachments upon the northern kingdom, and it was only with their assistance that King Ahaz of Judah succeeded in defending himself against Israel and Syria. He, as well as his successor Hezekiah, paid tribute to the Assyrians. In 722 the kingdom of Israel was destroyed, the inhabitants sent to the east, and colonists substituted for them. In spite of the warnings of Isaiah, Hezekiah entered into an alliance with Egypt and Ethiopia, in consequence of which Sennacherib of Assyria proceeded to attack the allies. The conquest of Jerusalem, however, was prevented by the well-known incident of the destruction of Sennacherib's army.

Meanwhile the worship of Yahweh was essentially advanced by the writings of Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets. The advance consisted mainly in loftier ideas of the moral and spiritual nature of the Deity, leading to the conception of Yahweh as the God, not merely of Israel, but of the whole world. This was a basis on which the religion of Israel could be preserved and developed amid the coming troubles. One of the most important events in the history of the religion of Israel is the centralization of the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem in the days of Josiah (620 b.c), a movement consequent on the introduction of the new book of the law, Deuteronomy.

The Captivity. — At length, in 597, the kingdom of Judah was virtually destroyed, and Nebuchadnezzar carried off King Jehoiakin with 10,000 of the principal inhabitants, including the prophet Ezekiel, to Babylon. A revolt by the last king, Zedekiah, resulted in the destruction of Jeru- salem in 587 and a second deportation of its inhabitants. Soon after this many Jews, Jeremiah among them, migrated to Egypt.

During the Captivity, besides Ezekiel and Jeremiah, there flourished the sublime anonymous prophet who wrote chapters 40-66 of the book of Isaiah. In the year 538 Cyrus, after having conquered Babylon, permitted the Jews to return to their native country. Only some of these, however, availed themselves of this permission, and the


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new Jewish State was wholly comprised within the ancient limits of Judah. The erection of the new Temple, which had long been obstructed by the neighbouring nations, was at length promoted by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (520-515), Ezra and Nehemiah established a set form of ritual, following Ezekiel and the priestly legislation in Leviticus and Numbers. The Idumaeans or Edomites established themselves in South Judaea and Hebron. The Nabataeans, an Arabian tribe which settled at Petra about 300 B.C., supplanted the Edomites in the south-east of Palestine. They conquered the territory of Moab and Ammon, and even penetrated farther north. The central districts were colonized by Cuthaeans, from whom, and also from the remains of the earlier population, descended the Samaritans, who erected a sanctuary of their own on Mount Gerizim.

The Macedonian Supremacy and the Maccabees. — The Macedonian Supremacy began in 332, but after Alexander's death Palestine became the scene of the wars between the ' Diadochi,' as his successors werQ called. Greek culture soon made rapid progress in Syria, as is evidenced by the ruins of Graeco-Roman theatres, the relics of temples, the inscriptions and coins. The Jews adhered steadfastly to their traditions, but, in the third century B.C., the Aramaic language gradually began to supplant the Hebrew. Greek also came into frequent use among the cultured classes, and in Egypt the sacred books were translated into Greek. Among the Jews was even formed a party favourable to the Greeks, which, aided by Jason, the high priest, succeeded in securing the supreme power in the state. In consequence of this a fierce struggle took place, for which King Antiochus Epiphanes chastised the Jews severely. This, and still more the desecration of their Temple, drove the Jews into open revolt. At the head of the insurgents was the heroic priest Mattathias, whose equally distinguished son Judas Maccabaeus at length succeeded, in 165 B.C., in inflicting a decisive defeat upon the Syrians. Under the Asmonean princes, or Maccabees, the Jews enjoyed a comparatively


PALESTINE IN BIBLICAL TIMES ii

prosperous period of national independence, and John Hyrcanus I. even succeeded in extending considerably the dominions of Judaea by his conquests. During this epoch the form of government was a theocracy, presided over by a high priest, who, at the same time, enjoyed political power, and ruled the country with the title of ' High Priest and Uniter of the Jews ' ; but from the reign of Aristobulus I. the Asmoneans assumed the title of king. The indepen- dence of the country was at length disturbed in 63 B.C. by the Romans, who, under Pompey, captured Jerusalem. The Asmonean Hyrcanus II. reigned after this date under Roman suzerainty.

The Idumaeans. — In 40 b.c. the Parthians plundered Syria and Palestine, and in the troubles of that period Herod the Idumaean, son of Antipater, the friend of Hyrcanus, rose to power by the support of the Romans. Herod, espousing throughout his career the Roman as against the national Jewish side, bribed Cassius and Antony in turn, succeeded in preserving his position under Augustus, and was recognized by the Jews as King in 40 B.C.

Herod was a great builder, and the brilliance of his reign earned him the title of the Great. Many of the Jews, how- ever, resented deeply his encouragement of foreign civil- ization and art.

In the time of Herod, the Jewish territories were divided as follows : (i) Judasa, including Idumaea ; (2) Samaria ; (3) Galilee ; (4) Peraea (' the country beyond ') ; (5) the tetrarchy of Philip.

The Hellenistic towns east of the Jordan {e.g. Philadelphia, Gerasa, Gadara, Pella), together with Scythopolis west of the Jordan, formed a more or less compact political unit under the name of the Decapolis.

Of the birth and ministry of Christ, and of the incidents of His earthly life, this Handbook is not the place to speak.

Herod the Great died in the year of the birth of Christ, i.e. 4 B.C. according to the accepted chronology as deter- mined by Dionysius Exiguus in 525 a. d. The dominions of Herod were now divided. To Philip were given the


12 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE


districts of the Hauran (S.E.), to Herod Antipas, Galilee and Peraea, to Archelaus, Samaria, Judaea, and Idumaea. In 6 A.D. the territory of Archelaus was added to the Roman pro- vince of Syria, but was governed by procurators of its own. The power of the native princes, such as Agrippa I., who was the last prince to unite the whole of Herod's kingdom under one monarch, and Agrippa II., whose share of Jewish territory was, strictly speaking, confined to a few towns in Galilee, became merely nominal as that of the Roman governors increased. At length, in consequence of the maladministration of Gessius Florus, a national insurrection broke out with great violence. Jerusalem was captured by Titus in 70 a. d., and the Temple was destroyed. Under the leadership of Simon, surnamed Bar Cochba (' son of the star '), there was a final revolt against the foreign yoke. After a struggle lasting for three and a half years (132-135), the insurrection was quelled and the last remnant of the Jewish kingdom destroyed. Jerusalem became a Roman colony under the name of ^Elia Capitolina, and the Jews were denied access to their ancient capital.^


§ 4. Palestine under Rome, Byzantium and the Arabs.

Boman Rule. — The ensuing three centuries were relatively uneventful in the history of Palestine. After the revolt of the Jews in 132-5 a.d. the Emperor Julian the Apostate once more raised the hopes of the Jewish people for a brief moment. Previous to the interlude of his short reign a change of the utmost importance had taken place within the Roman Empire by the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the State, and this change was felt par- ticularly in Palestine. The unaccustomed interval of peace which the country was enjoying caused many Christian pilgrims to visit the Holy Land in emulation of the Empress Helena, and the country was soon thickly covered with Christian religious establishments.

1 Cf. Sir G. A. Smith, Atlas of the Historical Geography of the Holy Land, London, 1915.


« 


II


PALESTINE UNDER THE ARABS 13

Byzantium and the Arabs. — On the partition of the Roman Empire in 395 a.d., Palestine fell naturally to the eastern or Byzantine half, but it was not long before the growing power of Persia menaced the hold of the Byzantine Emperors on the Holy Land. In 614 Jerusalem fell to Chosroes II. after a siege of twenty days, and its treasures were plundered. The Emperor Heraclius subsequently recovered the country ; but in the struggles with the Persians the Byzantine Empire underwent a process of exhaustion which accounts very largely for its subsequent collapse before the Arab invaders.

The Arab Conctuest. — The Arabs had from time im- memorial ranged over the vast Syrian Plain as far as Mesopotamia, and were now beginning to press forward into Syria and Palestine. The southern Arabs (Yoqtanids or Qahtanids) settled in the Hauran, while opposed to them were the tribes of Northern Arabia (Ishmaelites) ; but these tribes acquired a new significance after their union had been effected by the Prophet Mohammed. As the Byzantine Empire grew weaker, the raids of these Arabs into Palestine became more frequent. Finally they took the definite shape of deliberate conquest. The invasion began in the south of Palestine, where the local Governor, Sergius, operating from Caesarea, was defeated early in 634. This Arab victory was followed up by another in the same year, when Theodore, the brother of Heraclius, was defeated in the Wadi al-Sant. Further victories were won by the Arabs in 635, and in September of that year Damascus surrendered. Heraclius now made his one great effort to save Syria. In the summer of 636 an army of imperial mercenaries and Armenians and Arabs (drawn from the settled tribes of Syria) advanced through the Biqa' and past Baniyas and across the Jordan, south of Lake Huleh. They cut the communication between Damascus and Arabia. But the Arabs had already aban- doned Damascus and had taken their position on a strong line of defence, just south of the River Yarmuk. The opposing armies^seem to have faced one another on opposite


14 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

sides of the Yarmuk for some weeks. Futile negotiations were carried on. Perliaps both sides awaited reinforce- ments and feared to risk attack. Apparently the Greeks at length took the offensive. The Arab victory was of supreme importance for the future of Islam and therefore for the history of the world. Unfortunately the course of the battle cannot be ascertained in detail. Certainly the Moslems were not greatly superior in point of numbers. During one phase of the struggle the Greeks appear to have been within sight of victory. But the composite character of their army was a disadvantage. Their leaders were at variance and perhaps their full force was not employed. Although most of the Arabs fought on foot they had a distinguished cavalry leader (Khalid ibn Walid), who seems to have dealt the decisive blow. A sand-storm blowing in the faces of the Greeks may have turned the scale against them (20th August, 636).

After this battle Heraclius abandoned Syria. Probably his resources were exhausted by the Persian war, so that he could not do otherwise. The fate of the country therefore depended upon the attitude of its own population. Jews, Samaritans, and Christians all welcomed the Arabs as their deliverers from the persecution and oppression of the ' orthodox ' Greeks. Naturally the Arab tribes of the eastern frontier were ready to throw in their lot with the new-comers. Not a single Syrian town was captured by force of arms. Sooner or later they all Accepted the generous terms of the Arab chiefs. Jerusalem and Caesarea were strongholds of Greek sentiment and power. They sub- mitted in the years 639 and 640 respectively, and, after the surrender of Caesarea, Gaza and Ascalon made their submission,

Palestine under the Omayyad and 'Abbasid Khalifs. — For a century after the Arab conquest Palestine enjoyed almost unbroken peace within its borders. From 661 till 750 it was ruled from Damascus by the Omayyad Khalifs, and, after their overthrow by the 'Abbasids (so called on account of their descent from the Prophet's paternal uncle


PALESTINE UNDER THE ARABS 15

'Abbas), from the capital of the latter at Baghdad, But the distant 'Abbasid Khalifs never held the allegiance of Syria and Palestine as did the Omayyads, and the process of disintegration commenced in the Arab Empire. By the middle or end of the ninth century Palestine and Syria stand once more apart in their accustomed relation to Egypt on the south and to the rulers of Mesopotamia on the north-east. In 969 the Fatimite Khalifs began to rule over Egypt and soon conquered Syria and Palestine. In the eleventh century they were followed by the Seljuq Turks. In the latter half of the tenth century, however, the Byzan- tine Emperors had undertaken no fewer than four invasions of Syria and Northern Palestine (in 975 the Emperor John Zimisces actually reached Tiberias and Acre) ; and these invasions, coupled with the internal dissensions of the Arab Empire, paved the way for the Crusaders.

§ 5. The Crusades.

The First Crusade. — The Crusades, considered as a con- quest of Palestine, were marked by several unique features. They were, in the first place, the product of artificial co- operation between a number of Western Powers, which was only maintained with difficulty and frequently broke down altogether. Its promoters were actuated by a variety of motives : religious, romantic, dynastic, commercial. The Crusaders proceeded with their task slowly and inter- mittently, and their purpose, which was to plant western feudalism in an eastern land, never wholly succeeded. From the date of their first success the Crusaders organized their conquests into four independent states, the Principality of Antioch, the Counties of Tripoli and Edessa, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It is only with the last of these that the Handbook of Palestine is directly concerned.

The First Crusade aimed not merely at the deliverance of the Holy City from Moslem rule or even only at the conquest of Palestine and Syria ; rather was it an expedition by the Christians of Western Europe, under the auspices of Western


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Europe's spiritual leader, the Pope, to relieve the Christians of the East in general from Moslem oppression. Its leaders were Robert, Duke of Normandy, Raymond, Count of Toulouse, Robert, Count of Flanders, the Norman Dukes Bohemond and Tancred, Godfrey de Bouillon and his brother Baldwin, afterwards King Baldwin I. of Jerusalem. Antioch was captured by Bohemond in 1098, and Jerusalem on the 15th July, 1099 ; Damascus, however, together with Homs and Aleppo, was never lost by the Moslems. There is no space here to enter into the extremely picturesque details of Crusading history ; it must suffice to chronicle the outstanding facts. In the reign of Baldwin II. the Latin conquests in the East reached their climax and the Kings of Jerusalem, together with their vassals, the Princes of Galilee, the Counts of Ascalon and Joppa, the Lord of Montreal and others, ruled the land in feudal fashion. The organization of the kingdom is well displayed in the famous ' Assizes of Jerusalem,' which laid down the constitution of the country on a strictly feudal basis. The ' Assizes,' which received their final form from the Cypriote jurisconsults of the thirteenth century, embodied "the usages which Godfrey ordered to be maintained and used in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, by the which he and his men, and his people, and all other manner of people going, coming, and dwelling in his kingdom of Jerusalem were to be governed and guarded. "1

The Assizes included two codes, one for the nobles, the other for the bourgeoisie, which were deposited in a coffer in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and from the place of their custody were called ' Les Lettres du Sepulcre.' The coffer could only be opened for the purposes of consulting or modifying the law, and then only in the presence of nine persons particularly specified, including the King and the Patriarch.

The Second Crusade. — The early Crusaders weakened their strength by repeated and futile attempts to capture Damascus. Here they were opposed by the powerful

  • Assizes of Jerusalem, i., 22.


THE CRUSADES 17

Emir Zanki (1127-40) ; and the second conquest of Edessa by his son Nur al-Din (1146-74) gave rise to the Second Crusade (1147-49). It was in the reign of Nur al-Din that there came to the fore the famous Salah al-Din, better known in the West as Saladin. Saladin, who was the grandson of a 'Kurd named Shadi ibn Merwan and nephew of Nur al-Din's general Shirkuh, soon made himself master of Egypt ; and, after Nur al-Din's death, took advantage of the dissensions in Syria to conquer that country also, and thus to become the Franks' most formidable opponent. The breach of a truce concluded between himself and the Crusaders led to war, and on the 4th July, 1187, Saladin ' broke the Franks on the horns of Hattin and slew a great multitude, and took their king prisoner.' This was the greatest disaster which had as yet overtaken the Crusaders. The True Cross was lost, and King Guy, together with his nobles, made captive. Saladin now marched south. Nablus, Caesarea, Jericho, Jaffa, opened their gates to him w;ithout resistance; and on the 2nd October, 1187, he took Jeru- salem, granting to the besieged terms of almost unparalleled generosity.

The Third Crusade. — The fall of Jerusalem led to the Third Crusade (1189-92), and the Latin colonies in Palestine were saved from extinction for the moment by a great European intervention. The Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I. Barbarossa, who headed the expedition, was drowned in Cilicia before he reached the Holy Land. The hero of this Crusade was King Richard Coeur de Lion ; but Richard, although he performed prodigies of valour, did not recover Jerusalem. The resources of the Third Crusade were impaired by the rivalry between Richard and the French King, Philip Augustus, and the only solid advantages secured from Saladin by the peace signed on the 2nd September, 1192, were the possession of a narrow strip of coast between Tyre and Jaffa, and the right of the Latins to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which city remained in the hands of the Moslems.

The Fourth and Fifth Crusades. — Saladin died in 1193, i.V- n


1 8 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

and his empire was dismembered. Nevertheless, the respite which the Third Crusade had given to the Latin Kingdom was a precarious one ; and the Fourth Crusade in 1204 went sadly astray and did nothing to promote Frankish interests in Palestine. The Fifth Crusade, led by King Andrew of Hungary in 1217-18, was 'equally unsuc- cessful. In both these Crusades the Italian maritime cities of Amalfi and Pisa, Genoa and Venice were impelled by their commercial ambitions to take an active part.

The Sixth Crusade. — Of more importance was the Sixth Crusade, led by the heterodox Emperor Frederick II. By the irony of history Frederick, who in many respects was far in advance of his time, was first of all excommunicated for not going on the Crusade, and was then excommunicated for going. In 1229 he became master of Jerusalem without shedding blood, only to find that the services of the Church could not be celebrated in the Holy Sepulchre, because the Pope had laid every town in which Frederick might be, the goal of the Christian world not excepted, under an interdict. For the next ten years Jerusalem was again a Latin city.

The Last Crusades. — At the end of Frederick's ten years of truce with the Moslems the Seventh Crusade set out under the leadership of Theobald, King of Navarre, and landed at Acre in the autumn of 1239. An attempt to recover Ascalon involved the Christian army in disaster, and in the following year Theobald went home, leaving a large number of prisoners in the hands of the Moslems, from whom their freedom was subsequently bought by Richard, Earl of Cornwall. In 1244 Jerusalem was sacked by the Khwarizmians, a Tatar tribe from the south of Lake Aral. ^

The Eighth Crusade (1248-50) owed its inception to the piety and enthusiasm of S. Louis IX. of France, but, in spite of its leader's zeal, accomplished nothing tangible so far as Palestine was concerned. With the Crusade of Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward I. of England (1271-72), the Crusading movement spent its force. Accounts of the Crusades from the western point of view


THE CRUSADES


19


are numerous and need not be detailed here ; for a lucid history of these events from the Moslem point of view the reader is referred to Stevenson, The Crusaders in the East (Cambridge, 1907).

The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. — The following sovereigns occupied the throne of Jerusalem between 1099 and the fall of Acre in 1291 : —


Godfrey de Bouillon (refused title of King)

Baldwin L -

Baldwin II. -

Melisende and Fulk of Anjou {jure

uxoris) ------

Melisende and Baldwin III. -

Baldwin III. alone - _ _ _ _

Amaury I.- Baldwin IV. - Baldwin V. ----- -

Sybil and Guy de Lusignan (Lord of

Cyprus, 1 192) {jure uxoris) Guy de Lusignan alone - - - - Isabella and Henry of Champagne {jure

uxoris) ------

Isabella and Amaury II. (I, of Cyprus)

{jure uxoris) ----- Isabella alone - - - - - Mary - - - - - ' - Mary and John de Brienne {jure uxoris) - Yolande and John de Brienne {jure filiae) Yolande and Frederick (Emperor Frederick

II.) {jure uxoris) - _ _ _ Conrad and Frederick {jure filii) Conrad alone ------

Conradin ----_.

Hugh (III. of Cyprus) - - - -

Charles of A njou disputes the crown John (I. of Cyprus) - _ _ _

Henry (II. of Cyprus) - . - _


Reigned. IO99-IIOO IIOO-II18 III8-II3I

II3I-II44 II44-II52 II52-II62 II62-II73 II73-II85 I185-I186

I186-II9O II9O-II92

II92-II97

II97-I205

1205

I205-I2IO

I2IO-I2I2

I212-I225

I225-I228 I228-I243 I243-I254 I254-I268 I269-I284

i2yy - 1286 1284-1285 1285-1291


20 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

During the latter years of its existence the Latin King- dom dwindled rapidly in extent and strength. Not only was it being shaken by the advancing assaults of the Moslems, but it was torn by internal and dynastic dis- sension between rival princes and between these and their vassals. Conrad and his son Conradin, the last of the Hohenstaufen, were Kings of Jerusalem in name only ; they were never crowned as such and never took possession of the kingdom. On the execution of Conradin the crown of Jerusalem, together with the meagre remnants of the kingdom, passed to the Kings of Cyprus ; and with the capture of Acre, its last remaining town, by the Mame- luke Sultan Melek al-Ashraf, son of Sultan Qala'un, in 1291 1 the de facto existence of the Kingdom of Jeru- salem came to an end. The Kings and Queens of Cyprus continued to bear the title until the end of the Lusignan Kingdom of Cyprus in 1489, and after the fall of Acre received the crown of Jerusalem at Famagusta, as being the Cypriote town geographically nearest to the lost kingdom. The title then passed by descent to the House of Savoy, now the Royal House of Italy ; and until 1 86 1 the coins of the Kings of Sardinia bore the legend : ' King of Sardinia, Cyprus, and Jerusalem.' The title ' King of Jerusalem ' is borne to this day by the Kings of Spain as heirs of the Angevins and through them of Mary of Antioch, as it was until 191 8 by the Emperors of Austria.

The Military Orders. — The most characteristic, and perhaps the most permanent features of the Crusades were the Military Orders, of which the most prominent were the Templars and the Hospitallers. Both Orders owed their institution to the charitable purpose of attending the poor and sick Christian pilgrims ; both derived their origin from the Holy City of Jerusalem ; both subsequently became sovereign states and the most forrnidable military instru- ments of the Crusaders. Most of the remarkable Crusading castles which still crown the strategic heights of Palestine and Syria (Krak des Chevaliers, Banias, La Pierre du

^See Schlumberger, Prise de St. Jean d'Acre en Van 1291. Paris, 1914.


THE CRUSADES 21

Desert, Montreal, Safita, Merqab and many others) were the strongholds of these Orders ; and at times the Crusading Kings found the Knights to be as truculent and unruly in peace as they were valiant in war. The Knights Templar ruled Cyprus as its sovereigns from 1191-1192, and were dissolved by the Pope in 1312 ; the Knights Hospitallers, after reigning in Rhodes and then in Malta until the dawn of the nineteenth century, now reside in Rome, where they still maintain under their Grand Masters their sovereign status as the Order of S. John of Jerusalem. For the Crusading activities of this Order see Delaville Le Roulx, Les Hospitaliers en Terre Sainte et a Chypre (Paris, 1904). For the English Order of S. John of Jerusalem, see Part n., § II.

§ 6. Palestine under the Mamelukes and Turks.

The Mamelukes. — For the ensuing two centuries Palestine practically disappears from history. With the final depar- ture of the Franks in 1291 it loses all semblance of independence, and passes, together with Syria, under the Mameluke (Caucasian slave) dynasty of Egypt. The out- standing Mameluke figures in the annals of Palestine are the Sultans Bibars (1260-1277) and Qala'un (1279-1290), both equally famous as warriors and as builders. At the beginning of the fifteenth century the land was plagued by the Mongols under Timur-lenk (' Timur the Lame,' Tamer- lane), but afterwards, under the Mameluke Sultans, enjoyed a farther period of immunity from external attack. In 15 16 war broke out between the Mamelukes and the Ottoman Turks ; and by 15 17 Egypt, Syria and Palestine were in the hands of the latter.

Palestine under the Turks. — The sixteenth and seven- teenth centuries are on the whole unimportant in the history of Palestine, although it may here be noted that the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in their present form in 1542 by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Two men alone emerge from an obscure multitude of Pashas and Beys. The first


22 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

of these, 'Omar al-Daher, was early in the eighteenth century an Arab chief, whose principal village was Safed. Having seized Tiberias he carried on war with the pashas of Damascus, just as Tancred had done with their pre- decessors in the Crusading period. In 1749 he seized Acre from a subordinate of the pasha of Sidon and established himself in it. He restored somewhat the defences of the city, attracted the population by his good government, increased his power by treaties with Arab tribes and with the Metawileh, and thus became strong enough to wage war with Damascus on equal terms. When he allied himself with the Egyptian ruler 'Ali Beg (1770-3), and obtained the help of Russian ships (1772-3), there was a prospect of his becoming master of all southern Syria. But the death of 'Ali Beg (1773) and the peace between Turkey and Russia (1774) and quarrels with his own sons resulted in his defeat and death (1775). His successor in Acre was Ahmed al- Jezzar. He was a Bosnian by birth, had been a slave of the Egyptian Begs, and had recently won a military reputa- tion in Syria. Adventurers flocked to his service, and his pashalik extended until it included the coast from Beirut to Caesarea, along with northern Palestine and the Biqa'. His efforts to gain the pashalik of Damascus were not permanently successful, but he was the most powerful ruler in Syria, and by fortifying Acre (from 1786 onwards) made it the strongest town on the coast. The Ottoman Govern- ment would have dispossessed him more than once if they had been able. Yet when Napoleon invaded Syria they appointed him at once chief commander of their forces.

The Invasion of Napoleon I. — In 1799 Napoleon, return- ing from Egypt, captured Jaffa and laid siege to Acre. At this juncture the French in Egypt were being threatened by the British Fleet under Commodore Sir Sidney Smith, while a Turkish army was assembling in Syria. Napoleon's object was to compel the Ottoman Government to come to terms with France. He defeated the Turks on the Plain of Jezreel, and advanced as far as Nazareth and Safed ; but he failed to capture Acre, gallantly defended by Sidney


THE MAMELUKES AND TURKS 23

Smith. By the beginning of June, 1799, Napoleon had withdrawn from Palestine.

Mohammed 'All and Ibrahim Pasha. — The reforming Sultan Mahmud II. (1808-39) introduced some order into the Turkish administration of Palestine, but his efforts were hampered by the turbulence of 'Abdullah, son of Jezzar, who became Pasha of Acre in 1820 and soon made himself almost independent of the Sultan. The crisis and end of 'Abdullah's career were provoked by a conflict with Mohammed 'Ali, ruler of Egypt. The Egyptian invasion of Palestine in 1831 was directed against 'Abdullah in the first place, although it was taken by the Ottoman Govern- ment to be a challenge to its authority, and so inaugurated a war between Egypt and the Ottoman Turks for the possession of Syria. A brief campaign, in which a siege of Acre and a battle near Homs were the chief events, secured Palestine and Syria for the Egyptians. A^ter several years of occupation, in which the Ottoman Government acquiesced, the struggle was renewed (1839). A fleet, chiefly British, representing the. European allies of the Sultan, attacked the coast towns in 1840. Within four months, without any great battle being fought, the Egyptian army, under Ibrahim Pasha, evacuated the country. Nevertheless, the nine years of Egyptian occupa- tion had done much towards centralizing the administration of the country. Ibrahim abolished the decentralized pashaliks and broke the power of the local chieftains ; he enforced regular taxation ; and he compelled the recogni- tion of non-Moslem rights in local government. During his regime, moreover, Europeans were encouraged in Palestine and Syria as they were by his father in Egypt ; and to this period we owe the travel books of Kinglake, Lamartine and many others. During these nine years Europe progressed from a state of mediaeval ignorance of the country almost to its present well-informed con- dition.

Palestine held aloof from the troubles which beset Syria in i860 and led to the intervention of Napoleon III.


24 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

The highly centraHzed rule of 'Abdu'l Hamid II., while oppressive in many respects, was distinctly beneficial to the advance of Palestine, and during his reign the land increased in prosperity and population.

§ 7. Palestine under the British Mandate.

Capture of Palestine, 1917. — The circumstances attending the entry of the Ottoman Empire into the war and the brilliant operations which led to the capture of Palestine from the Turks by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, under the command of General (now Field-Marshal Lord) AUenby, are too recent in the public memory to require detailed narration here. They are well recounted in the Record of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, compiled by Lt. -Colonel H. Pirie-Gordon, Military Editor of the Palestine News, Cairo, 19 19. General Allenby began his operations in October, 19 17, and on the 31st of the month had taken Beersheba. Gaza fell on the 7th November, and on the i6th November Jaffa was occupied without opposition. These successes enabled a converging movement to be made on Jerusalem ; and at noon of the 9th December a Turkish parlementaire conveyed the sur- render of the city to the Commander-in-Chief, who made his official entry two days afterwards, walking into Jerusalem by the Jaffa Gate, followed by his staff and by representatives of the French and Italian contingents. The notable proclamation which, standing at the top of the Citadel steps, he caused to be read to the people in English, French, Italian, Arabic and Hebrew, ran as follows :

' To the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Blessed and the people dwelling in the vicinity. The defeat inflicted upon the Turks by the troops under my command has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces. I therefore here and now proclaim it to be under martial law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make it necessary. However, lest


THE BRITISH MANDATE 25

any of you should be alarmed by reason of your experience at the hands of the enemy who has retired, I hereby inform you that it is my desire that every person should pursue his lawful business without fear of interruption.

' Furthermore, since your City is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind, and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pil- grimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore do I make known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer, of whatsoever form of the three religions, will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faiths they are sacred.'

The Balfour Declaration. — Zionism is the movement for the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish People. As a tnovement of return it may be said to date from the destruction of the national existence of the Jews in Palestine by the Romans in the second century A.D. Since that time the ideal has been tenaciously pre- served by Jews throughout the world.

During the nineteenth century various English statesmen gave such political support as was then possible to the ideal. In modern times, too, England has been pre-eminent amongst the Powers in encouraging and furthering its realization.

Jewish colonization in Palestine, as it is now understood, began in 1880. It was at that period that the persecution of the Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe stimulated the return to Palestine, and Jewish settlements sprang up in different parts of the country. It was not, however, until Theodor Herzl, an Austrian Jewish publicist and dramatist, conceived, in 1897, the project of summoning a Congress of Jews, that Zionism became a political movement. That Congress defined the meaning of Zionism as the effort to win ' a legally-secured, publicly-recognized Home for the Jewish People in Palestine.'


26 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

Even when it was still impracticable to obtain a charter for Jewish settlement in Palestine, the British Government made an offer of a tract of land in British East Africa for the up-building of an autonomous Jewish State ; but this alternative was not accepted by the Zionist masses.

On the outbreak of war, however, what had hitherto been a vision of idealists became the practical policy of statesmen, and on the 2nd November, 191 7, during the advance into Palestine of the Allied Forces under General Allenby, the Earl of (then Mr. Arthur) Balfour, at the time Foreign Secretary, made on behalf of His Majesty's Government the following historic Declaration :

' His Majesty's Government view with favour the estab- lishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of that object, it being 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 the Jews in any other country.'

The Declaration was endorsed by the principal Allied Powers and embodied in the Treaty of Sevres, signed on the loth August, 1920. In that Treaty, under which Turkey renounces her sovereignty over Palestine, it is provided that the country shall be entrusted to a Mandatory Power, which shall carry out the terms of the Declaration according to a Mandate to be approved by the League of Nations. At the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers held at San Remo in April, 1920, it was agreed that Great Britain should be entrusted with the Mandate.

After the Balfour Declaration a body, then known as the Zionist Commission, was constituted of representatives of the constituent federations of the World Zionist Organiza- tion to act in Palestine as a link between the British authorities and Zionist interests. This body, which is now known as the Palestine Zionist Executive, is financed by subscriptions from Jews throughout the world, and administers the greater part of Jewish education in


THE BRITISH MANDATE 27

Palestine, besides controlling many projects of agriculture and colonization.

The meaning of the Balfour Declaration can best be summarized in the following extracts from the High Com- missioner's Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine, 1920-21 {cf. Part I., § 2, and infra), and from a statement made by him on the 3rd June, 192 1 :

' They [sc. the Jews) ask for the opportunity to establish a " home " in the land which was the political, and has always been the religious, centre of their race. They ask that this home should possess national characteristics — in language and customs, in intellectual interests, in religious and political institutions. . . .

■' If the growth of Jewish influence were accompanied by Arab degradation, or even by a neglect to promote Arab advancement, it would fail in one of its essential purposes. ... In a word, the degree co which Jewish national aspira- tions can be fulfilled in Palestine is conditioned by the rights of the present inhabitants. . . .'

In the statement of the 3rd June, 1921, the Declaration is defined to mean that ' the Jews, a people who are scattered throughout the world, but whose hearts are always turned to Palestine, should be enabled to found here their home, and that some among them, within the limits that are fixed by the numbers and interests of the present population, should come to Palestine in order to help by their resources and efforts to develop the country, to the advantage of all its inhabitants.'

The Military Administration, 1917-1920.— At the head of the Military Administration of Palestine General Allenby, whose headquarters were then at Ludd, appointed Brigadier- General (now Sir Gilbert) Clayton, who was also Chief Political Officer to the Commander-in-Chief. The first Military Governor of Jerusalem was Borton Pasha, Post- master-General of Egypt, who, owing to a breakdown in health, was succeeded after two weeks by Mr. Ronald Storrs, Oriental Secretary to the Residency in Cairo. The Governorate was first established in Hughes's Hotel, but


28 THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE

was soon moved to the German Lazarist Hospice of S. Paul, by the Damascus Gate.

The part of Palestine already occupied was divided into the following districts : Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Hebron and Beersheba. This division continued in vigour until Lord AUenby's great drive in September, 1918, when the remainder of Palestine, Syria and Cilicia were cleared of the Turks. Thereupon Military Governors were posted to Nablus, Jenin, Tulkeram, Haifa, Nazareth, Acre, Tiberias, and Safed.

In 1919 the districts were reduced from thirteen to ten by the amalgamation of Acre with Haifa and of Tiberias and Safed with Nazareth, and were again reduced, on the establishment of the Civil Government on the ist July, 1920, from ten to seven by the absorption of Jenin into Nablus, of Tulkeram into Haifa and Jaffa, and of Kebron into Jerusalem, when the seven official districts consequently became Jerusalem, Jaffa, Beersheba, Gaza, Phoenicia (Haifa), Galilee (Nazareth) and Samaria (Nablus).

As a general rule Municipal Councils continued in office and, at the expiration of their period of office, were replaced by nomination by the Military Governor. In some cases the Administration advanced subsidies in order to assist Municipalities to meet the demands of the Public Health Authorities for a higher standard of sanitation.

As far as was compatible with the military nature of the occupation and with the peculiar political conditions of Palestine, the Ottoman codes of law were applied to the country. Early in 19 18 a Legal Adviser was appointed, and the Courts, whose action had been interrupted for a few weeks only, were again set going, so far as possible, with Palestinian judges and officers, superintended by trained British officers.

The Police were recruited partly from the better and more active elements of the former Turkish police and gend- armerie, partly from the Palestinian population.

Among the other institutions with which the military authorities endowed the country may be cited public


4


THE BRITISH MANDATE 29

gardens, Chambers of Commerce, branches of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, the Jerusalem School of Music, subsequently- presented to the Jewish community. Indigenous industries, that had been allowed to die out, were revived under the auspices of the Pro- Jerusalem Society, of which more will be said hereafter. In 191 8 a well-known British architect was summoned from London to examine and report upon the state of the venerable mosques and other buildings in the ancient Temple enclosure in Jerusalem, which had been neglected by the Turks and allowed to fall into decay. Large sums were spent upon improving the roads of Palestine, the bridges destroyed during the military opera- tions were strengthened or rebuilt, and a steel bridge was thrown across the Ghoraniyeh passage of the Jordan.

The state of Jerusalem in December, 191 7, can hardly be imagined by those who see it now. No sanitary arrangements of any sort existed in the old city, and practically none in the new. As the only water supply was derived from private rain-fed cisterns, it was impossible to do very much to combat the resulting evils until a proper water supply had been introduced. Seven military sanitary sections were lent by the army and placed at the disposal of the Governorate. In addition to this, it was made the work of one special sweeper to patrol the Via Dolorosa from end to end and to keep it free from pollution. Later in the spring of 191 8, to the intense satisfaction of the inhabitants, the Commander-in-Chief gave the order for a piped water supply to be put into Jerusalem. At Arrub, south of Bethlehem, pumps were erected over an ancient reservoir, said to have been excavated by Pontius Pilate. Pales- tinians of all classes were not slow to remark that the Turks, after an occupation which had lasted over four hundred years, had left Jerusalem, as regards the water supply, slightly worse than they found it, whereas the British Army, whilst still uncertain of its tenure, had, in a few months, endowed the city with a supply which rendered it, to a certain extent, independent of the chances of the weather.


3© THE HANDBOOK OF PALESTINE


which W Jeru- I


One of the gravest and most harassing problems beset the Government was that of the food supply, salem is fed largely by wheat imported from Trans-jordania or, if that fails, from overseas. At the time of the British occupation the first of these sources was cut off by the Turks, who were still in possession of the rich corn lands of Amman, Kerak and the Hauran. The second was curtailed by submarines. The Turks had moved with them all food supplies that they could carry. There were practically no available supplies in the city. Army provisions were, very naturally, required for the army ; and transport was work- ing over broken and unmade roads under every sort of disadvantage. Women and children were to be seen walking in the streets in every stage of emaciation and besieging Government offices for a crust of bread. Here again the British Army came to the rescue and, on the urgent representations of the Government, supplied at once, and continued to supply until long after, a sufficient quantity of wheat to enable the Government to set up food stores and ration cards, and to avert the terror of starvation.

In the spring of 1920 occasional minor disturbances occurred in more than one part of Palestine ; and on the 4th April, 1920, a racial riot, which was soon suppressed, broke out in Jerusalem.

The Chief Administrators under the Military Administra- tion subsequent to Brigadier-General Clayton were :

Major-General Sir A. Money - March, 1918-July, 1919.

Major-General Sir H. D. Watson August-December, 1919.

Major-General Sir L. Bols - January- June, 1920.

The Civil Administration, 1st July, 1920.— The Military Administration (Occupied Enemy Territory Administration) terminated on the 30th June, 1920, and on the ist July the Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Samuel, P.C., G.B.E., assumed office as His Majesty's High Commissioner for Palestine, and a Civil Administration was set up. In October, 1920, there was constituted an Advisory Council, consisting of 10 unofficial members nominated by the High Commissioner (4 Moslems, 3 Christians, 3 Jews) and of 10 official members.


THE BRITISH MANDATE 31

English, Arabic and Hebrew were made the official languages of the country.

On the ist May, 1921, and succeeding days there was rioting in Jaffa and neighbourhood, which developed into racial strife. A Commission, under the chairmanship of Sir T. Hay craft. Chief Justice of Palestine, was appointed to inquire into the disturbances ; its report was presented to Parliament in October, 1921 (Cmd. 1540).

For a succinct official account of the first year of the Civil Administration of Palestine the reader is referred to the High Commissioner's Interim Report (Cmd. 1499), published in August, 1921.

On the ist July, 1922, there took place a reorganization of the administrative divisions of the country {cf. Part v., § i).

On the 24th July, 1922, the Council of the League of Nations approved the Mandate for Palestine, the text of which is printed in the appendix to this volume.