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The British Mandate

After World War I, the League of Nations was charged with dividing the territories previously controlled by the German and Ottoman Empires.  The League of Nations established the mandate system in which they allocated the territories which were considered to be more advanced.  Under this rubric and as part of the Treaty of Sevres which divided the Ottoman Empire, the British were granted control over Transjordan (modern day Jordan) and Palestine (modern-day Israel, with the West Bank and Gaza Strip) in 1923. The British took little interest in achieving self-governance and exerted absolute control over all of the governmental affairs in Palestine. Throughout this period the Mandate sought to severely limit Jewish immigration into Palestine, even during the World War II period when Jews were being persecuted and exterminated across Europe.

In 1946, however, Transjordan declared its independence, ending British rule in the area. Growing Jewish-Palestinian violence and attacks on British personnel by some Jewish extremists led Britain to announce that it sought to cede control of the area, and the issue of sovereignty over Palestine was referred to the United Nations. 

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