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Palestine: Important Dates and Events (Pre-1948)

First wave of Jewish immigration: (1882-1903)
- 25,000 enter illegally from E. Europe

Second Wave: (1904-1914)
- 40,000 enter Palestine. Jewish percentage of population in Palestine is 6%.

1914-1918: World War One

1916: January: Hussein-McMahon Correspondence (Sharif Hussein pledged Arab military support in return for British guarantees for Arab self-determination after the war. Guarantees included Palestine.)

May: Sykes-Picot Agreement (Secret agreement between the French and British on how to divide Arab lands after the first Great War.)

June: Sharif Hussein declares independence from Turks and launches revolt.

1917: Balfour Declaration supporting establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine

1918: Great War ends and Palestine falls under British Mandate

Third Wave of Immigration: (1919-1923)
- 35,000 enter Palestine. 12% Jewish with 3% land ownership.

1921: Formation of Hagannah Jewish underground military organization (Basis of IDF).

Fourth Wave of Immigration: (1924-1928)
- 67,000. 16% Jewish and 4.2% land.

Fifth Wave of Immigration: (1929-1939)
- 250,000. 30% Jewish and 5.7% land.

1936: Arab Revolt begins and ends in 1939.

- Irgun calls for raids against Palestinians.
- Peel Commission recommends partitioning Palestine into a Jewish (33%) and Arab state with Jerusalem under British protection. Report also calls for transfer of Arabs from Jewish portion. Arabs reject it.
- October: British dissolve Arab Higher Commission and other Palestinian political organizations.

1938: Irgun starts offensive against Palestinians. 119 Arabs killed.

1939: Revolt ends. Between 3500 and 4000 Palestinians killed. About 500 Jews killed.

Sixth Wave: (1940-1945)
- 60,000 Jews enter Palestine. 31% Jewish with 6% land ownership.

1944: Irgun and Stern unite to fight British

1946: July 22: Irgun blows up King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 91. Menachem Begin future Israeli Prime Minister wanted by British for his role in bombing.

- September 8: United Nations General Assembly supports partition of Palestine.
- September 29: Arabs reject plan
- October 2: Jews accept it despite pressure from various camps to reject plan.
- November 29: UNGA votes on an amended partition plan calling for 56.5% for Jews, 43% for Arabs and Jerusalem to be internationalized.
- December 8: Britain offers proposal to UN to end British mandate and to form two states within 2 weeks.

POINTS on UN Partition Plan and Zionist/Palestinian Reactions (1)

The United Nations Partition Plan of November 29, 1947 was to divide Palestine into Arab, Jewish and International Zones. The plan was to take affect after Britain's withdrawal scheduled on May 14, 1948.

NOTE that in 1914 only 65,000, no more than 8%, out of a total population in Palestine of 700,000, were Jews.

The population of Palestine in 1948 is estimated at:
Palestinians        1,380,000 (65%)
Others        35,000 ( 2%)
        1,415,000 (67%)

Jews (Mostly Ashkenazi)          700,000 ( 33%)
Total          2,115,000

The Partition Plan divided land ownership as follows:

Palestinians and others          42%
Int'l Zone of Jerusalem          2%
Jews          56%

Jews and Arabs begin preparations for war.

- December 21, 1947-March 1948: Irgun and Hagannah start coastal ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages.
- January 8-10: 330 Arab fighters enter Palestine
- March: Hagannah draft Plan Dalet for military operations in Palestine including areas outside proposed Jewish state.
- April 9: Deir Yassin massacre. Irgun and Stern kill more than 100 men, women and children.
- April 27-May 5: Up to 50,000 Palestinians expelled.
- May 3: Zionist attacks result in 175,000-200,000 Palestinian refugees.
- May 15: State of Israel declared. Arab armies enter Palestine.
- Fighting ends January 1949.

War of 1948:

- 750,000 Palestinians (80% of population) flee and 531 villages (50%) de-populated and destroyed. A third flee to West Bank and a third to Gaza and remaining third scattered throughout Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
- UNGA Resolution 194:

- "Refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date."

- "Loss of or damage to property, which, under the principles of international law or in equity should be made good by the government or authority responsible."

Final Note: The Zionist campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing increased their ownership of historic Palestine from 56% (Under UN Partition Plan) to 78%.

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