Ceremony Ending The British Mandate - Copyright The Jerusalem Post Archives

As a result, the British government announced its intention to terminate the mandate and return the Palestine question to the United Nations. The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created on May 15, 1947, and after much debate, they adopted a resolution for the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947. This included a recommendation that the mandate terminates as soon as possible to placate the British who were threatening to simply pull out leaving the region in chaos. Originally, the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 called for the mandate to end no later than August 1, 1948, however, two weeks later, on December 11, 1947, British Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones announced that the mandate would be terminated earlier on May 15, 1948.

The original plan was for the authority over Palestine to be transferred to the United Nations, but Britain ended up evacuating its civilians and military in a disorganized fashion without proper transfer of the administration on May 15. This is because at midnight on May 14, 1948, the independence of a Jewish state, formally named the State of Israel, was declared. A Jewish state was established in the land of Palestine in accordance with the British promise that followed the Balfour Declaration. Upon termination of the Mandate, Arab countries were angry that an independent Jewish presence in Palestine, instead of an Arab controlled entity where the vast amount of Jews could be taxed the Jizya to support the state. As a result of this Anger, Palestine was invaded by five Arab countries, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, which began what was ultimately named the 1948 "War of Independence".

The British Mandate for Palestine was a byproduct of the end of the first World War that reflected the collapse of empires that had controlled areas for centuries. The Russian Empire was the most famous to fall in 1917; The Austro-Hungarian Empire fell in 1918; The German Empire also fell in 1918; And The Ottoman Empire, which ruled over Palestine among most of the Muslim world officially collapsed in 1922.

As a result of these collapses, the emergence of nations that demanded autonomy and independence became overwhelming for the League of Nations to manage. Under the British Mandate for Palestine, which was granted to Britain simply because they had occupied the area after pushing out the Ottomans in 1917, 3,000 individuals, with Jews suffering the most losses estimated at 2,500 killed. In addition, approximately 250,000 Arabs were displaced during this time as Britain, trying to accommodate Jewish immigration in the early part of the Mandate, removed Arabs from areas overwhelmingly populated by Jews in order to avoid conflict.

The thought was if there were limited areas of Jews and Arabs next to each other, policing the territory would be easier since violence between the two groups was overwhelming British policing efforts. The Jewish and Arab conflicts over the land of Palestine occurring during the time of the mandate are still seen today and is widely accepted as the start of 'The Arab-Israeli Conflict'.

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