Occupied Enemy Territory Administration
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Occupied Enemy Territory Administration
Occupied Enemy Territory Administration

1918-1920
Flag of Levant
Flag
Area of the OETA, according to the British Government's History of the Great War Based on Official Documents[1]
Area of the OETA, according to the British Government's History of the Great War Based on Official Documents[1]
StatusOccupied territory
Common languagesArabic, Ottoman Turkish, French, English
History 
o Established
1918
o San Remo conference
19 to 26 April 1920
o Disestablished
1920

The Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA) was a joint British and French military administration over Levantine provinces of the former Ottoman Empire between 1918 and 1920, set up on 23 October 1918 following the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I.[1] Although it was declared by the British military, who were in control of the region, it was preceded on 30 September 1918 by the 1918 Anglo-French Modus Vivendi, in which it was agreed that the British would give the French control in certain areas.[2]

Following the occupation of the Adana Vilayet (the region of Cilicia) in December 1918, a new territory, OETA North, was set up.[3]

The administration ended in OETA West and OETA South in 1920 following the assignment of the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon and British Mandate for Palestine at the 19-26 April 1920 San Remo conference.[4]

In OETA East, British administration ended following the withdrawal of British forces from the territory in November 1919, and the subsequent declaration of the Arab Kingdom of Syria over the same area. The area was split into two after the French defeated King Faisal in July 1920; the northern part of the territory was combined with the French-administered OETA West, and the southern part became a no man's land and later became the Emirate of Transjordan.[5]

History

Initiation

King-Crane Commission population estimates
OETA South OETA West OETA East Totals
Moslems 515,000 600,000 1,250,000 2,365,000
Christians 62,500 400,000 125,000 587,500
Druses 60,000 80,000 140,000
Jews 65,000 15,000 30,000 110,000
Others 5,000 20,000 20,000 45,000
Totals 647,500 1,095,000 1,505,000
Grand Total 3,247,500

On 23 October 1918, following the British and Arab forces' defeat of the Ottoman empire, Field Marshal Edmund Allenby announced that the region was to be split into three administrative sub-units, which varied very little from the previous Ottoman divisions:[6][7]

In December 1918, following the occupation of the region of Cilicia, a new territory was set up.[3]

Later events

Results of the King-Crane Commission Petitions received from OETA South (became Palestine), OETA West (became Lebanon and Western Syria) and OETA East (became Syria and Transjordan); it has been described as "the first-ever survey of Arab public opinion".[9]

Under this administration the immediate needs of the people were provided for, seed grain and live-stock were imported and distributed, finance on easy terms was made available through the Army bankers, a stable currency was set up and postal services restored.[10] Allenby insisted that as long as military administration was required, it was to remain his responsibility.[11]

But, success of Turkish War of Independence, Mara?, Antep and Urfa sanjaks of former Halep Eyalet remained in Turkey after 1921. Also, Antakya and ?skenderun kazas of Halep Sanjak in one were separated as the Republic of Hatay in 1938. The republic joined to Turkey in 1939.

Military administrators

OETA South Chief Administrators

The area was divided into four districts: Jerusalem, Jaffa, Majdal and Beersheba, each under a military governor.

Both of the first two British administrators, Generals Money and Watson, were removed by London for not favoring the Zionists over the Arabs;[12] when the OETA administration ended, Zionist politician Herbert Samuel was installed as the first civilian administrator.[12] Samuel recorded his acceptance of the role, and the end of military administration, in an often-quoted document: "Received from Major-General Sir Louis J. Bols K.C.B.--One Palestine, complete."[13]

OETA East Administrators

OETA East was a joint Arab-British military administration. The Arab and British armies entered Damascus on 1 October 1918, and on 3 October 1918 Ali Rida al-Rikabi was appointed Military Governor of OETA East.[14][15] Prince Faisal son of King Hussain of Mecca entered Damascus as on 4 October and appointed Rikabi Chief of the Council of Directors (i.e. prime minister) of Syria.

The boundary definition of OETA East left uncertainties to the south and east, leading to competing claims from the Kingdom of Hejaz and Occupied Iraq respectively - see Occupation of Ma'an and Occupation of Zor for further details.

OETA North (West) Administrators

  • Marie Antoine Philpin de Piépape (7 Oct 1918 - 19 Nov 1918)
  • Jules Camille Hamelin (19 Nov 1918 - 21 Nov 1919)
  • François Georges Barb (21 Nov 1919 - 1 Sep 1920)

OETA North (Cilicia) Administrators

Initiation and administration

The OETA was established on 23 October 1918, under the accepted rules of military occupation, and defined as follows:

Disestablishment of OETA

This draft British Telegram of September 1919, ordering the withdrawal of British troops from the French and Arab areas of the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, was prepared shortly after the Franco-British conference at Deauville. The line in point 5 became known as the "Deauville Line"

The OETA administrations were disestablished at different times in each of the regions, following the formal appointment of civil administrations (prior to the formal coming into force of the mandates):

Bibliography

  • Macmunn, G. F.; Falls, C. (1930). Military Operations: Egypt and Palestine, From June 1917 to the End of the War Part II. History of the Great War based on Official Documents by Direction of the Committee of Imperial Defence. II. accompanying Map Case (1st ed.). London: HMSO. OCLC 656066774.
  • Paris, Timothy J. (2003). Britain, the Hashemites, and Arab Rule, 1920-1925: The Sherifian Solution. Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-5451-5.
  • Biger, Gideon (2005), The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840-1947. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-5654-2.

References

  1. ^ a b Macmunn & Falls 1930, p. 606-607.
  2. ^ Paris 2003, p. 48.
  3. ^ a b c Macmunn & Falls 1930, p. 623.
  4. ^ Macmunn & Falls 1930, p. 607-609.
  5. ^ Macmunn & Falls 1930, p. 609: "The Arab zone was divided into two, the southern of which became, and remains to-day, the mandated territory of Trans-Jordan, under the rule of Abdulla, Hussein's second son. At Damascus the experiment was tried of a French-protected State under Feisal, but it speedily failed. Feisal was ejected by the French in July 1920, and Zone A linked with the Blue Zone under a common administration."
  6. ^ Israel: the first hundred years, Efraim Karsh
  7. ^ Roberto Mazza (30 September 2009). Jerusalem: From the Ottomans to the British. I.B.Tauris. pp. 148-. ISBN 978-0-85771-393-3.
  8. ^ Biger, 2005, p.53: "This initial division along the lines of the Ottoman administrative division for the purposes of military government, was in fact the first definition of an area that would later be determined as 'Palestine'"
  9. ^ Zogby, James (11 July 2008). "Opinions Matter: A Lesson From History". Huffington Post.
  10. ^ Keogh, E. G.; Joan Graham (1955). Suez to Aleppo. Melbourne: Directorate of Military Training by Wilkie & Co. OCLC 220029983. p. 202-3
  11. ^ Hughes, Matthew, ed. (2004). Allenby in Palestine: The Middle East Correspondence of Field Marshal Viscount Allenby June 1917 - October 1919. Army Records Society. 22. Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7509-3841-9. Allenby to Robertson 25 January 1918 in Hughes 2004, p. 128
  12. ^ a b D. K. Fieldhouse (6 April 2006). Western Imperialism in the Middle East 1914-1958. OUP Oxford. pp. 198-. ISBN 978-0-19-153696-0.
  13. ^ Owen, C. V. (2004). "Bols, Sir Louis Jean (1867-1930)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31947.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  14. ^ William E. Watson (2003). Tricolor and Crescent: France and the Islamic World. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 53-. ISBN 978-0-275-97470-1.
  15. ^ Eliezer Tauber (5 March 2014). The Arab Movements in World War I. Routledge. pp. 240-. ISBN 978-1-135-19978-4.
  16. ^ a b Tauber, Eliezer (13 September 2013). The Formation of Modern Iraq and Syria. Routledge. pp. 30-. ISBN 978-1-135-20118-0.
  17. ^ Alsberg, Paul Avraham (1973). " (Determining the Eastern Boundary of the Land of Israel)". In Daniel Carpi (ed.). ? ? ? ?. -?, . available in pdf here

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