- The historical Balfour Declaration is dated back to November 2, 1917. The Balfour Declaration was sent from the UK’s foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour, to a prominent leader in the Jewish community, Lord Rothschild. In the Balfour Declaration, Sir Balfour expressed his support for the establishment of national home for the Jewish people in the land of Palestine.
- The Zionists were involved in the British military efforts in Palestine. In February of 1915, a small committee in Egypt accepted Zeev Japotinsky’s and Joseph Trumpeldor’s plan to create a Jewish military unit which would help the British conquer Palestine from the Ottomans. Trumpeldor recruited Jewish volunteer soldiers from Egypt, who had been deported there a year earlier by the Ottomans, to form the Zion Mule Corps. Later, in Aug
ust of 1917, the Jewish regiment was created. It consisted of s
oldiers of the 38th and 39th Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers (an infantry regiment of the British Army), which were made up primarily of British, American, Russian, and Canadian Jews, and the 40th Battalion, made up of Jews from Palestine and other regions. The Jewish regiment served in the Jordan Valley and fought the Ottomans alongside the British.
- On December 9, 1917, British troops led by General Sir Edmund Allenby took Jerusalem from the Turks and on October 31, 1918, all of Palestine fell under British military rule as the Ottoman empire, which lasted over six centuries, came to an end.
- After Palestine was conquered by the British, the Jews who had been deported from Tel Aviv and Jaffa to Egypt by the Ottomans during the war were allowed to return to their homes.
- When the British took control of Palestine and Transjordan, they instated a new currency called the Palestine Pound. The Palestine Pound was used from 1927 to 1948. In addition to Arabic and English, the Palestine Pound included Hebrew, eluding to the strong Jewish presence in the land.