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PublisherVarda Books
Publication Date2009


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Preface 13

Introduction: A Geographical Analysis of British Imperial Rule The Case of Palestine 17

Methodological Argument 17

British Concepts of Development The Imperial Basis 19

The Character of British Rule in Palestine 23

Palestine at the Time of British Conquest 26

a. The Rural Landscape 26

b. The Urban Landscape 28

c. The Jewish Community 31

d. Roads, Railways and Communications 33

e. Palestine in the Eyes of the British 37

Chapter One: The "Creation" of Palestine Delimitation of Borders 39

Geographical Perceptions of Palestine 39

Political Factors in the Delimitation of Borders 44

a. The French Government and the Sykes-Picot Agreement 44

b. The Arabs and the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence 45

c. The Zionist Movement and the Balfour Declaration 46

d. The British Government and Representatives 46

Borders in the Making 47

a. Zionist Proposals 47

b. French Proposals 48

c. Arab Proposals 49

d. The British Position 50

Geographical Boundary Claims 52

a. The Southern Boundary: Agriculture, Transportation, Bedouins, Mining 53

b. The Eastern Boundary: Grain Fields 55

c. The Northern Boundary: Water, Transportation, Agriculture, Population 56

Strategic Arguments 59

Historical Boundary Claims 59

Final Decisions and Boundary Demarcation 61

a. The Northern Boundary: Rosh Haniqra to el-Hama 62

b. The Eastern Boundary: el-Hama to Gulf of Aqaba 64

c. The Southern Boundary: Gulf of Aqaba to Mediterranean 65

Demarcation Principles 66

Conclusions: Spatial Consequences of Delimiting Boundaries 67

Chapter Two: Concepts of Development and Administrative Organisation 70

Attitude of the Central British Government 71

Development Plans of the Military Authorities 76

Operational Principles of the Civil Administration 79

a. Early Ideas 79

b. From Conception to Implementation 83

c. Policy Changes in Light of the Realities 87

Legislative, Financial and Political Obstacles 92

Institutionalisation of Government and Territorial Jurisdiction 99

Organising Territorial Divisions 100

Organising the Administrative System 102

Communal and Personal Considerations 106

British Input and Geographic Influences 110

Conclusions: Aspirations versus Capabilities 113

Chapter Three: Building the Infrastructure of Palestine 117

Railroads 118

a. Improvements of the Military Administration 118

b. Political Impediments 120

c. Improvements of the Civil Administration 124

d. Development Plans 127

Roads and Highways 132

a. Improvements of the Military Administration 132

b. Development Plans of the Civil Administration 134

c. Political and Financial Pressures 136

d. Building the Roads 141

e. Management of the Roads 145

Seaports 148

Airfields 151

Communications 152

a. Postal Services 152

b. Telegraph and Wireless Services 154

c. Telephones 155

Land Reclamation 157

a. Afforestation and Stabilisation of Sand Dunes 158

b. Swamp Drainage 162

c. Building Activities 163

Conclusions: Laying of Infrastructure as an Articulation of British Policy 166

Chapter Four: Rural and Urban Development 170

Aid to the Rural Sector 170

a. Agricultural Reorganisation 171

b. Financial Assistance and Tax Reforms 175

c. Rural Health 178

d. Rural Education 182

e. Rural Road System 185

f. Status Changes and Aid to Non-Agricultural Works 186

Ownership and Sale of Land 188

State Lands 191

Cadastral Surveys and Mapping 195

Town Planning and Building Ordinances 198

Construction, Water Supply and Drainage Projects 200

Aid to the Urban Sector 205

The British Administration and Jerusalem 209

a. Jerusalem as the Capital of Palestine 210

b. British Development Projects in Jerusalem 212

Conclusions: British Influence on the Urban and Rural Sectors 217

Chapter Five: The Palestine Administration and the Jews 220

Jewish Immigration 221

Jewish Colonisation 226

Urban, Industrial and Commercial Development in the Jewish Sector 230

Transportation Links to the Jewish Colonies 238

Conclusions: Help or Hindrance to the Jews 241

Chapter Six: British Contribution to Landscape Change in Palestine 246

Stages of Mandatory Rule 248

Preconceived vs. Responsive Action 252

Asymmetry in British Development Policy 256

Regional Asymmetry 257

Sectoral Asymmetry 261

Communal Asymmetry 263

Administrative Weak Spots 266

Epilogue: Tradition and Innovation in British Activities in Palestine 269

General Administrative Activities 269

British Colonial Activities 270

Administrative Activities Exclusive to British Rule in Palestine 274

Bibliography 277

Index 280


Proposals for the southern border of Palestine 54

The northern border of Palestine, 1920-1923 64

British Palestine 68

The development of the railway network in Palestine, 1917-1929 125

The development of the road network in Palestine, 1917-1929 135

Telecommunications in Palestine, 1929 157

Government health provisions in Palestine, 1929 180

Government schools in Palestine, 1929 184

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