The end of the First World War finally allowed the British to cement their stronghold in Palestine. The San Remo Allied Powers Conference (1920) allowed Britain to take over Palestine as an official colony as a buildup towards self governance in the region. This region came to be known as “Mandatory Palestine” between 1920 and 1948.
Post the establishment of Mandatory Palestine, in the year 1939, there was an exodus of Jews from Europe into Palestine attempting to recreate their “homeland” after several years of expulsion, going by the terms of the Balfour Declaration. This, in turn, caused increasing tensions between the Palestian Arabs and the Jewish community as the Arabs began a series of protests opposing the rapidly growing Jewish population in the region.
In an attempt to remain neutral to both parties, the British issued a “White Paper”, aimed at limiting the exodus of Jewish immigrants from Europe coming into the region. This however, was largely ineffective as the influx of Jews continued illegally. Through the 1940s, the influx of Jewish immigrants was further provided an impetus by the carnage of the holocaust. “Jewish Armed Groups” in the region were increasingly insistent on the need for the creation of an independent Jewish state.
Recognising an approaching conflict and growing tensions, the British ultimately appealed to the newly established peacekeeping body, the United Nations for assistance. The UN sprung into action and in 1947, proposed a plan to split Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state with international control over Jerusalem. While this plan was accepted by the Jews, the Arabs strongly disagreed with the proposal and rejected it.
The rejection of the UN proposal left the conflict at a stalemate, leaving the peacekeeping body with no other option but to force the British to leave the region as their mandate ended. Israel declared independence in 1948 and was admitted to the United Nations.
Despite the fact that the creation of Israel was a victory for the Jews, it was the start of further violence and tensions between the Jews and Arabs for decades to come.
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