The Palestine Mandate
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originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His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 favor 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
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 religion.
The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage
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 organization, so long as its organization 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 co-operation
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
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 reestablished in their entirety or with such
modifications as may have been agreed upon between the Powers
The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial
system established in Palestine shall assure to foreigners, as well
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 territorial limits.
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 are guaranteed.
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 religious
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 organist 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 of
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 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 area.
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
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 and animals.
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 nationals of all States Members of
the League of Nations.
(1) "Antiquity" means any construction or any product
of human activity earlier than the year 1700 A. D.
(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 authorization 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
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 of finding
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
(7) Authorization to excavate shall only be granted to persons
who show sufficient guarantees of archaeological experience. The
Administration of Palestine shall not, in granting these
authorizations, 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
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
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 mandate.
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.
The Avalon Project The Palestine Mandate