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The Palestine Mandate
The San Remo Conference decided on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate [for Palestine] under the League of Nations
to Britain. The terms of the Mandate were also discussed with the United States which was not a member of the League. An agreed
text was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, and it came into operation in September 1923.
also the introduction at www.mideastweb.org for more detailed background information.
League of Nations:
The Mandate for Palestine, July 24, 1922
The mandates for Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were assigned by the Supreme Court of the League of Nations at its San
Remo meeting in April 1920. Negotiations between Great Britain and the United States with regard to the Palestine mandate
were successfully concluded in May 1922, and approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922. The mandates for
Palestine and Syria came into force simultaneously on September 29, 1922. In this document, the League of Nations recognized
the "historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and the "grounds for reconstituting their national home in
(From Israeli Government Website)
The Council of the League of Nations
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged
to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the
declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine
of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the
civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by
Jews in any other country; and
Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the
grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; and
Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in the following terms and submitted to the Council of
the League for approval; and
Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf
of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions; and
Whereas by the afore-mentioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory, not having been
previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League of Nations;
Confirming the said mandate, defines its terms as follows:
The Mandatory shall have full powers of legislation and of administration, save as they may be limited by the terms of
The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions
as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self -governing
institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of
race and religion.
The Mandatory shall,so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.
An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the
Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national
home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to
assist and take part in the development of the country.
The Zionist organisation, so long as its organisation and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate,
shall be recognised as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure
the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed
under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not
prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish
agency. referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews, on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required
for public purposes.
The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law
provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence
The privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly
enjoyed by Capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, shall not be applicable in Palestine.
Unless the Powers whose nationals enjoyed the afore-mentioned privileges and immunities on August 1st, 1914, shall have
previously renounced the right to their re-establishment, or shall have agreed to their non-application for a specified period,
these privileges and immunities shall, at the expiration of the mandate, be immediately re-established in their entirety or
with such modifications as may have been agreed upon between the Powers concerned.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial system established in Palestine shall assure to foreigners,
as wen as to natives, a complete guarantee of their rights.
Respect for the personal status of the various peoples and communities and for their religious interests shall be fully
guaranteed. In particular, the control and administration of Wakfs shall be exercised in accordance with religious law and
the dispositions of the founders.
Pending the making of special extradition agreements relating to Palestine, the extradition treaties in force between the
Mandatory and other foreign Powers shall apply to Palestine.
The Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the interests of the community in connection
with the development of the country, and, subject to any international obligations accepted by the Mandatory, shall have full
power to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country or of the public works, services
and utilities established or to be established therein. It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country,
having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the
The Administration may arrange with the Jewish agency mentioned in Article 4 to construct or operate, upon fair and equitable
terms, any public works, services and utilities, and to develop any of the natural resources of the country, in so far as
these matters are not directly undertaken by the Administration. Any such arrangements shall provide that no profits distributed
by such agency, directly or indirectly, shall exceed a reasonable rate of interest on the capital, and any further profits
shall be utilised by it for the benefit of the country in a manner approved by the Administration.
The Mandatory shall be entrusted with the control of the foreign relations of Palestine and the right to issue exequaturs
to consuls appointed by foreign Powers. He shall also be entitled to afford diplomatic and consular protection to citizens
of Palestine when outside its territorial limits.
All responsibility in connection with the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of
preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise
of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory, who shall be responsible
solely to the League of Nations. in all matters connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the
Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable with the Administration for the purpose of carrying
the provisions of this article into effect; and provided also that nothing in this mandate shall be construed as conferring
upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities
of which are guaranteed.
A special Commission shall be appointed by the Mandatory to study, define and determine the rights and claims in connection
with the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. The method of
nomination, the composition and the functions of this Commission shall be submitted to the Council of the League for its approval,
and the Commission shall not be appointed or enter upon its functions without the approval of the Council.
The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only
to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the
inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole
ground of his religious belief.
The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while
conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision over religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths
in Palestine as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government. Subject to such supervision, no measures
shall be taken in Palestine to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of such bodies or to discriminate against any representative
or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.
The Administration of Palestine may organise on a voluntary basis the forces necessary for the preservation of peace and
order, and also for the defence of the country, subject, however, to the supervision of the Mandatory, but shall not use them
for purposes other than those above specified save with the consent of the Mandatory, Except for such purposes, no military,
naval or air forces shall be raised or maintained by the Administration of Palestine.
Nothing in this article shall preclude the Administration of Palestine from contributing to the cost of the maintenance
of the forces of the Mandatory in Palestine.
The Mandatory shall be entitled at all times to use the roads, railways and ports of Palestine for the movement of armed
f forces and the carriage of fuel and supplies.
The Mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in Palestine against the nationals of any State Member of the League
of Nations (including companies incorporated under its laws) as compared with those of the Mandatory or of any foreign State
in matters concerning taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, or in the treatment of
merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Similarly, there shall be no discrimination in Palestine against goods originating in
or destined for any of the said States, and there shall be freedom of transit under equitable conditions across the mandated
Subject as aforesaid and to the other provisions of this mandate, the Administration of Palestine may, on the advice of
the Mandatory, impose such taxes and customs duties as it may consider necessary, and take such steps as it may think best
to promote the development of the natural resources of the country and to safeguard the interests of the population. It may
also, on the advice of the Mandatory, conclude a special customs agreement with any State the territory of which in 1914 was
wholly included in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia.
The Mandatory shall adhere on behalf of the Administration of Palestine to any general international conventions already
existing, or which may be concluded hereafter with the approval of the League of Nations, respecting the slave traffic, the
traffic in arms and ammunition, or the traffic in drugs, or relating to commercial equality, freedom of transit and navigation,
aerial navigation and postal, telegraphic and wireless communication or literary, artistic or industrial property.
The Mandatory shall co-operate on behalf of the Administration of Palestine, so far as religious, social and other conditions
may permit, in the execution of any common policy adopted by the League of Nations for preventing and combating disease, including
diseases of plants and animals.
The Mandatory shall secure the enactment within twelve months from this date, and shall ensure the execution of a Law of
Antiquities based on the following rules. This law shall ensure equality of treatment in the matter of excavations and archaeological
research to the nations of all States Members of the League of Nations.
(1) 'Antiquity' means any construction or any product of human activity earlier than the year A.D. 1700.
(2) The law for the protection of antiquities shall proceed by encouragement rather than by threat.
Any person who, having discovered an antiquity without being furnished with the authorisation referred to in paragraph
5, reports the same to an official of the competent Department, shall be rewarded according to the value of the discovery.
(3) No antiquity may be disposed of except to the competent Department, unless this Department renounces the acquisition
of any such antiquity.
No antiquity may leave the country without an export licence from the said Department.
(4) Any person who maliciously or negligently destroys or damages an antiquity shall be liable to a penalty to be fixed.
(5) No clearing of ground or digging with the object of finding
antiquities shall be permitted, under penalty of fine, except to persons authorised by the competent Department.
(6) Equitable terms shall be fixed for expropriation, temporary or permanent, of lands which might be of historical or
(7) Authorisation to excavate shall only be granted to persons who show sufficient guarantees of archaeological experience.
The Administration of Palestine shall not, in granting these authorisations, act in such a way as to exclude scholars of any
nation without good grounds.
(8) The proceeds of excavations may be divided between the excavator and the competent Department in a proportion fixed
by that Department. If division seems impossible for scientific reasons, the excavator shall receive a fair indemnity in lieu
of a part of the find.
English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps
or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew, and any statement or inscription in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic.
The Administration of Palestine shall recognise the holy days of the respective communities in Palestine as legal days
of rest for the members of such communities.
The Mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations an annual report to the satisfaction of the Council as
to the measures taken during the year to carry out the provisions of the mandate. Copies of all laws and regulations promulgated
or issued during the year shall be communicated with the report.
In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory
shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions
of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration
of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent
with the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18.
The Mandatory agrees that, if any dispute whatever should arise between the Mandatory and another Member of the League
of Nations relating to the interpretation or the application of the provisions of the mandate, such dispute, if it cannot
be settled by negotiation, shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice provided for by Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.
In the event of the termination of the mandate hereby conferred upon the Mandatory, the Council of the League of Nations
shall make such arrangements as may be deemed necessary for safeguarding in perpetuity, under guarantee of the League, the
rights secured by Articles 13 and 14, and shall use its influence for securing, under the guarantee of the League, that the
Government of Palestine will fully honour the financial obligations legitimately incurred by the Administration of Palestine
during the period of the mandate, including the rights of public servants ,to pensions or gratuities.
The present instrument shall be deposited in original in the archives of the League of Nations and certified copies shall
be forwarded by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations to all Members of the League.
Done at London the twenty-fourth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.
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