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

1919-1939 Resisting Zionist immigration and British occupation

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.



Paris Peace Conference decides Palestine will not be restored under Ottoman rule. The first Palestinian national Congress convenes in Jerusalem and rejects the Balfour declaration, demanding independence.



The Haganah, a Zionist paramilitary organization is founded.



The League of Nations approves British mandate of Palestine without consent of the Palestinians. The first British census of Palestine shows population of 757,182, with 78% Muslim, 11% Jewish and 9.6% Christian. The Fifth Palestinian Congress agrees to  the economic boycott of Zionists. Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky calls for forcible colonization of Palestine and Transjordan. A Palestinian general strike breaks out in protest of a private visit of James Balfour to Jerusalem.



First attempts are made by some Jewish religious leaders to change the status quo at the Wailing Wall. Zionist militants demonstrate by the Wailing Wall. Riots break out in several towns in reaction.  In resulting clashes, 133 Jews are killed and 339 wounded; 116 Palestinians are killed and 232 wounded, mostly at hands of British military. The Islamic Conference demands protection of Muslim property rights at Wailing Wall. The League of Nations Council appoints an international commission to investigate legal status of Palestinians and Jews at Wailing Wall.



The second British census of Palestine shows total population of 1,035,154 with 73.4% Muslim, 16.9% Jewish and 8.6% Christian.



Several Palestinian political parties are founded, such as Istiqlal (Independence), the Palestine Arab Party and the Reform party. The Arab Executive Committee calls for general strike to protest British pro-Zionist policies, especially the sponsorship of Zionist mass immigration. Disturbances break out in the main towns.



Revisionist groups quit the World Zionist Organization and form the New Zionist Organization which aims to forcibly ‘liberate’ Palestine and Transjordan. Revisionists and dissidents from Haganah found the military organization Irgun, with Vladimir Jabotinsky as commander-in-chief. Large quantities of arms smuggled from Belgium by Zionist groups are discovered at Jaffa port.

Leaders of Palestinian political parties submit a joint memorandum to the British High Commissioner requesting cessation of Zionist mass immigration and land acquisition, and to establish a government based on proportional representation.



The High Commissioner proposes the establishment of a 28-member Legislative Council with Palestinians holding only 14 seats; Palestinians accept in principle. Pro-Zionist members of the British House of Commons defeat it. The Conference of Palestinian National Committees calls for no taxation without representation.  Great rebellion begins. British military reinforcement is brought to Palestine. Irgun carries out armed attacks on Palestinians, through bomb blasts in busses, markets and cafés.  Palestinian militants respond with bombs and mines.



Malcom MacDonald, Colonial Secretary of State, issues the White Paper of 1939 promising: conditional independence for unitary Palestinian state after ten years; admission of 15,000 Jewish immigrants annually into Palestine for five years, with immigration after that subject to ‘Arab acquiescence’. The plan also encompasses protection of Palestinian land rights against Zionist acquisition. The Stern Gang, formed under Avraham Stern by dissident Irgunists, in protest against 1939 White Paper policy, calls for alliance with Axis powers in war against British.

World War II breaks out.