The League of Nations, the predecessor
to the United Nations, on July 24, 1922 approved "The
Mandate for Palestine" according to which, England
was charged with administering Palestine (today Jordan,
Israel, Gaza and the West Bank). Britain was also
obligated to work towards the reestablishment of a
Jewish homeland within the same area.
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 that country."
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into effect the declaration originally made on November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 this mandate.
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
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 in Palestine.
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 land.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 archaeological interest.
(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
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.