The UN votes to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab states, while Jerusalem is to be internationalized (resolution 181). Under the plan, the Jewish state receives 55% of the land and the Palestinian state 45%. The Jewish population was about a third (600,000) and the Arab 1,200,000. The Jewish leadership accepts the partition plan while the Palestinians and the Arab countries reject it.
The following links provide background historical information:
- Palestinian Territories – Timeline (BBC)
- Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (MERIP – Middle East Research and Information Project)
- Timeline of Palestine’s History (Al Jazeera English)
Basic Timeline for Southern Jerusalem
The southern neighbourhoods of Jerusalem were established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The German Colony was established in the mid-19th century, Baq’a in the 1880s, the Greek Colony around 1900 and Talbiyeh and Katamon in the early 1920s. Under a dysfunctional Ottoman rule, the neighbourhoods were growing slowly despite a relatively rapid population growth. When the British conquered Jerusalem in 1917, they started actively planning urban development, and the neighbourhoods blossomed and grew exponentially.
The neighbourhoods attracted middle- and uppper-middle class Christian Arabs (primarily Greek Orthodox) as well as Muslims, with few Jewish renters and owners. A younger generation of intellectuals, educators and professional who made their homes here were active socially and culturally. Many British civil servants rented in the neighbourhood. Most of the foreign consulates were situated in Katamon and various small hotels which hosted cultural events dotted these neighbourhoods. The Greek Club, the Regent Cinema and several sports clubs were gathering places for leisure.
As political tensions grew, the British set up security zones in Katamon and near the power station, on the border of the German Colony and Baq’a.