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British military occupation of Palestine

British troops occupied Rafah in February, 1917, then occupied Khan Younis easily with no significant resistance. Not shortly, the Turks asked Gazans to leave the city in order to give the Turks the ability to protect it, then the British attacked the strip by land and sea in the last days of March, 1917, during that many people were killed and wounded. In the next month, they attacked it for the second time , but they failed and retreated to Arish.

After the failure of the British attack on Palestine and Gaza, Edmund Allenby took the lead of the army and inserted military regulations to the British Army. Meanwhile, the Ottoman army started to collapse because of the Arab revolution and the withdrawal of many Arab fighters who joined the revolution. In October, 1917, Allenby occupied Beersheba, and then attacked Gaza on the 7th of September, and demolished two-thirds of the city’s buildings by a barbaric British guns. He, then, headed to the north, and occupied Jaffa, and Jerusalem in the next month. Hostilities continued until the late 1918.

The British military government of Palestine began from 1917, until the arrival of Herbert Samuel, the first high commissioner of the Department of the British Mandate in 1920, to begin the Mandate period, which lasted until 1948.


Prepared by: Islam el-Zant. Translation: Eman Basheer.