A brief history
1895 - 1917
The total population of Palestine was 500,000 of whom 47,000 were Jews who owned 0.5% of the land.
Following the appearance of anti-Semitism in Europe, Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism tried to find a political solution for the problem in his book, 'The Jewish State'. He advocated the creation of a Jewish state in Argentina or Palestine.
The first Zionist Congress was held in Switzerland, which issued the Basle programme on the colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the World Zionist Organization (WZO).
Fourth Zionist Congress decided to establish a national home for Jews in Argentina.
The Zionist congress decided the Jewish homeland should be Palestine.
With the outbreak of World War I, Britain promised the independence of Arab lands under Ottoman rule, including Palestine, in return for Arab support against Turkey which had entered the war on the side of Germany.
Britain and France signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the Arab region into zones of influence. Lebanon and Syria were assigned to France, Jordan and Iraq to Britain and Palestine was to be internationalized.
Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary sent a letter to the Zionist leader Lord Rothschild which later became known as "The Balfour declaration". He stated that Britain would use its best endeavors to facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. At that time the population of Palestine was 700,000 of which 574,000 were Muslims, 74,000 were Christian, and 56,000 were Jews.