Hisham's Palace, Jericho (photo by GZ) Old city of Hebron (photo by GZ) Drone flying over KhanYounis, Gaza. (Photo by CdV) Gilo settlement - Beit Jala (photo by GZ) Mahmoud Darwish in the presence of absence (photo by GZ) Wall grafitti made by Berlin residents. (Photo by CdV) Bypass road north-south - Jerusalem (photo by GZ) Corridor from Erez crossing into Gaza (Photo by CdV) Anti-wall demonstration in Bi'lin. (Photo by LS) Cremisan Road, Beit Jala (photo by GZ) Mahmoud Darwish on Yasser Arafat- Ramallah (photo by GZ)

1876-1918 The last of the Ottoman years

The larger part of this time line is an adaptation of the historic overview in ‘Before their Diaspora, a photographic history of the Palestinians 1876-1948’ by Walid Khalidi.


The first Ottoman parliament convenes in Constantinople; first Palestinian deputies from Jerusalem are elected.



Peta Tikva, the first Zionist colony is established in Palestine.



The Ottoman government announces permission for foreign (non-Ottoman) Jews to settle throughout the Ottoman Empire, excluding Palestine. It allows foreign Jewish businessmen and pilgrims to visit Palestine but not to settle.  In Paris, Baron Edmund the Rothschild financially backing of Jewish colonization in Palestine. The first wave of Zionist mass immigration to Palestine begins. The Ottoman government views Zionist colonization as in Palestine as a political problem and revokes permission to foreign Jewish businessmen to visit Palestine but not to Jewish pilgrims. European powers pressure the Ottoman government to allow foreign Jews to settle in Palestine, provided they do so singly and not en masse.



The German Jewish Baron Maurice de Hirsch founds the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA).  The Ottoman government, concerned with Zionist colonization, forbids the sale of land to foreign Jews in Palestine.  European powers pressure the Ottoman government to permit Jews legally resident in Palestine, to buy land provided they establish no colonies on it.



The First Zionist Congress convening in Basel, Switzerland, Issue Basel program on colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the World Zionist Organization (WZO). Shortly after the congress, a Zionist delegation is sent to Palestine to explore the viability of settling Palestine with persecuted European Jews. The delegation reported back with a cable that stated:  "The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man."


1901- 1914

Pressured by European powers, the Ottoman Government allows foreign Jews to purchase land in northern Palestine. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is established as land acquisition organ of the WZO and decides that land acquired by the JNF is inalienable Jewish and exclusively Jewish labor is to be employed on it. This causes great distress among Palestinian administration, parliamentarians and citizens. The Jerusalem administration strongly objects to Zionist land acquisition in Jerusalem district. Various newspapers warn that Zionism seeks national sovereignty in Palestine. JCA representative Antebi states that “ill will of the local population coincides with the creation of Zionism”.  Tensions develop between Zionist colonists and Palestinian farmers, occasionally resulting in clashes.



Outbreak of World War I. The Ottoman government sides with the German forces. Correspondence between Sharif Hussein of Mecca and Sir Henry Mc Mahon, British high commissioner in Egypt is understood by Arabs as ensuring post-war independence and unity of Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, including Palestine.



The signing of the secret Sykes-Picot agreement, which divides the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire between Britain and France. Sharif Hussein proclaims Arab independence from Ottoman rule, based on his correspondence with Mc Mahon. Arab revolt against Constantinople begins. In November Hussein is proclaimed ‘king of the Arabs’.



British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour sends a letter to Baron Lionel Walter de Rothschild pledging British support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine (Balfour Declaration) In December Ottoman forces in Jerusalem surrender  to Allied forces under command of General Sir Edmund Allenby.



Whole of Palestine occupied by Allied forces under General Allenby. October 30th: the End of World War I.