Prevent Arabs from Disposing of Beisan Land

Jewish hopes ever to acquire land in the Beisan area came to an end with the announced definite attitude of the Palestine government making it impossible for the Arab settlers to transfer their land to Jews.

The Beisan area and the Huleh #asin were the two most important government lands in Palestine at the time the mandate was given. The Beisan area was settled in accordance with the terms of the Mudawwara Agreement of 1921 with the Arabs already in occupation or who had claims to possession. In Jewish quarters the arrangement has been vigorously denounced. Dr. Weizmann, speaking at the Fourteenth Zionist Congress said that the Beisan land amounting to 600,000 dunam had been largely allocated. It was not just, he said, it was done without consideration of the Jewish interests.

The question of the Beisan lands was dealt with by Sir John Hope Simpson in his report in 1930, to the Palestine White Paper of 1930 based on the Simpson Report.

Sir John Hope Simpson proceeds to deal with an area “which has unfortunately passed from ownership of the Government,” the ##lusion being to the Beisan lands, #hich form the subject of an agreement concluded by the Palestine government with the local Arabs in November, 1921.

It is pointed out that the “grant of the lands has led us to provide the Arabs with a holding sufficient to maintain a decent standard of life, and not to provide them with areas of land with which to speculate.” These transactions, we are told, have “taken from the government the control of a large area of fertile land, eminently suitable for development and for which there is ample water available for irrigation.”

Referring to the disappointment felt by the Jews at the government’s failure to implement the relevent provisions of Article 6 of the Mandate, Sir John Hope Simpson observed that “had different action been taken in the case of the Huleh Basin and the Beisan #ands, doubtless some portion of the demand could have been met.”

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