1939, 7 February
London Conference starts.
London Conference ends without agreement.
British House of Commons votes 268 to 179 in favor of White Paper issued by Colonial Secretary of State Malcolm MacDonald. White Paper calls for 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” ; protection of Palestinian land rights against Zionist acquisition. British official estimates of Palestinians killed or executed by British military and police during Arab Rebellion is over 2,000 for 1936 and 1938 alone. Total for all years is estimated at 3,500-4,000. About 500 Jews killed in same period.
World War II begins.
Stern Gang or Lochemay Herut Yisra’el (LEHI; “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”) formed by dissident IZL members led by Avraham Stern.
Arrival of over 60,000 Zionist immigrants, including 20-25,000 who have entered the country illegally (April 1939-December 1945), increases Jewish population in Palestine to 31% of total. Registered Jewish landownership rises to 6.0% of area of country.
1940, 28 February
Land Transfers Regulations, suggested by 1939 White Paper to protect Palestinian land rights against Zionist acquisition, enter into force.
Avraham Stern killed by British police. It should be noted that the Stern gang received extensive financial and military support from the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to terrorize the British Mandate in Palestine. Click here to learn more about the subject.
Biltmore Conference in New York attended by Zionist leaders from U.S. and Palestine, urges that “Palestine be established as a Jewish commonwealth.”
Five-year limit on Jewish immigration (expiring April 1944) extended so all 75,000 visas permitted in 1939 White Paper can be filled.
Stern Gang and IZL join to conduct terror campaign against British.
Stern Gang murders Lord Moyne, British resident minister of state, in Cairo.
1945, 8 May
End of World War in Europe.
Large-scale illegal Jewish immigration into Palestine resumes under Haganah control.
British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin issues White Paper announcing continued Jewish immigration into Palestine after exhaustion of 1939 White Paper quota.
1946, 6 March
Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, proposed in 1945 White Paper, arrives in Palestine.
Anglo-American Committee report estimates size of Jewish armed forces at around 61-69,000 people (Haganah: 58-64,000; IZL: 3-5,000; Stern: 2-300) and declares “private armies” illegal. Recommends admission of 100,000 Jews into Palestine and abolition of Land Transfers Regulations. Palestinians strike in protest.
Arab League meeting in Bludan, Syria, adopts secret resolutions warning Britain and U.S. that disregard for Palestinian rights will damage their oil and commercial interests in Arab world.
British White Paper on terrorism in Palestine accuses Haganah of cooperating with IZL and Stern Gang in acts of sabotage and violence.
Ninety-one British, Palestinian, and Jewish civil servants and visitors killed when IZL blows up wing of King David Hotel in Jerusalem housing British government secretariat.
Anglo-American Conference in London produces Morrison-Grady Plan proposing federal scheme to solve Palestine problem. Zionist and Palestinian leaders reject the plan.
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