Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 December 2021
Britain took the territory of Palestine from the Turkish Empire and decided to stay when World War I ended, in the face of opposition from the population. Once in control, Britain began to promote immigration of Jews on the basis of its commitment to foster the development of a Jewish national home. Britain ultimately had to pronounce this policy a failure and asked the United Nations to recommend a solution for the governance of Palestine. The General Assembly suggested dividing Palestine, leading to hostilities. The General Assembly then backtracked on partition and worked on a possible trusteeship for Palestine that would function under the United Nations for a limited time while a permanent solution was negotiated. That plan was under consideration when Britain withdrew its forces and a council declared a Jewish state. During the hostilities, which continued until the end of 1948, most of Palestine’s Arab population fled, dramatically altering the demography of the country.