Jerusalem Subdistrict, Mandatory Palestine

Coordinates: 32°35′00″N 35°00′00″E / 32.5833°N 35.0000°E / 32.5833; 35.0000
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Subdistricts grouped by districts in 1945. Jerusalem Subdistrict as part of Jerusalem District in red.

The Jerusalem Subdistrict was one of the subdistricts of Mandatory Palestine. It was located in and around the city of Jerusalem. After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, on the Israeli side of the Green Line, the district was integrated into the Jerusalem District. On the other side, the West Bank was annexed into Jordan, the subdistrict was merged with Ramallah Subdistrict to form Jerusalem Governorate, one of three Jordanian governorates in the West Bank.[1]

The city of Jerusalem under British rule[edit]

William McLean's 1918 plan was the first urban planning scheme for Jerusalem. It laid the foundations for what became West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem.[2]
Jerusalem on VE Day, 8 May 1945.

In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, captured the city.[3] In 1922, the League of Nations at the Conference of Lausanne entrusted the United Kingdom to administer Palestine, neighbouring Transjordan, and Iraq beyond it.

The British had to deal with a conflicting demand that was rooted in Ottoman rule. Agreements for the supply of water, electricity, and the construction of a tramway system—all under concessions granted by the Ottoman authorities—had been signed by the city of Jerusalem and a Greek citizen, Euripides Mavromatis, on 27 January 1914. Work under these concessions had not begun and, by the end of the war the British occupying forces refused to recognize their validity. Mavromatis claimed that his concessions overlapped with the Auja Concession that the government had awarded to Rutenberg in 1921 and that he had been deprived of his legal rights. The Mavromatis concession, in effect despite earlier British attempts to abolish it, covered Jerusalem and other localities (e.g., Bethlehem) within a radius of 20 km (12 mi) around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[4]

From 1922 to 1948 the total population of the city rose from 52,000 to 165,000, comprising two-thirds Jews and one-third Arabs (Muslims and Christians).[5] Relations between Arab Christians and Muslims and the growing Jewish population in Jerusalem deteriorated, resulting in recurring unrest. In Jerusalem, in particular, Arab riots occurred in 1920 and in 1929. Under the British, new garden suburbs were built in the western and northern parts of the city[6][7] and institutions of higher learning such as the Hebrew University were founded.[8]

Depopulated towns and villages[edit]

Official population statistics for the sub-district, from Village Statistics, 1945.


  1. ^ "Jordan map 1972".
  2. ^ Elisha Efrat and Allen G. Noble, Planning Jerusalem, Geographical Review, Vol. 78, No. 4 (Oct., 1988), pp. 387-404: "Modern planning began only after the British conquest of Palestine in World War I… In 1918 an engineer from Alexandria, William McLean, was commissioned to draft the first city plan… These provisions… caused the city to develop mainly to the west and southwest because of the restrictions on construction in the Old City and its immediate environs and the desire to retain the eastern skyline… McLean wanted Jerusalem to expand to the north, west, and south, with little development to the east because of climatic and topographical limitations. Thus almost from the onset of British colonial rule, development was encouraged in a generally westward direction, and this bias ultimately produced the initial contrasts that distinguished the eastern and western sectors of the city. McLean also adopted the principle of urban dispersal, and he proposed two main axes, one to the northwest and the other to the southwest of the Old City. His guidelines were repeated in most of the subsequent city plans."
  3. ^ Fromkin, David (1 September 2001). A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (2nd reprinted ed.). Owl Books e. pp. 312–13. ISBN 0-8050-6884-8.
  4. ^ Shamir, Ronen (2013) Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  5. ^ "Chart of the population of Jerusalem". Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  6. ^ Tamari, Salim (1999). "Jerusalem 1948: The Phantom City". Jerusalem Quarterly File (3). Archived from the original (Reprint) on 9 September 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2007.
  7. ^ Eisenstadt, David (26 August 2002). "The British Mandate". Jerusalem: Life Throughout the Ages in a Holy City. Bar-Ilan University Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies. Archived from the original on 16 December 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2007.
  8. ^ "History". The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Retrieved 18 March 2007.

32°35′00″N 35°00′00″E / 32.5833°N 35.0000°E / 32.5833; 35.0000