|Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem|
Kudüs-i ?erif Mutasarr?fl
|Mutasarrifate of the Ottoman Empire|
Vital Cuinet's 1896 map of Syria, including the "Mutessariflik de Jerusalem"
|12,486 km2 (4,821 sq mi)|
|Today part of|| Egypt|
The Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem (Ottoman Turkish: ? ? , Kudüs-i ?erif Mutasarr?fl; Arabic: ? , Muta?arrifiat al-quds a?-?ar?f), also known as the Sanjak of Jerusalem, was an Ottoman district with special administrative status established in 1872. The district encompassed Jerusalem as well as Bethlehem, Hebron, Jaffa, Gaza and Beersheba. During the late Ottoman period, the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, together with the Sanjak of Nablus and Sanjak of Akka (Acre), formed the region that was commonly referred to as "Palestine".[nb 1] It was the 7th most heavily populated region of the Ottoman Empire's 36 provinces.
The district was separated from Damascus Eyalet and placed directly under the Ottoman central government in Constantinople (now Istanbul in English) in 1841, and formally created as an independent province in 1872 by Grand Vizier Mahmud Nedim Pasha. Scholars provide a variety of reasons for the separation, including increased European interest in the region, and strengthening of the southern border of the Empire against the Khedivate of Egypt. Initially, the Mutasarrifate of Acre and Mutasarrifate of Nablus were combined with the province of Jerusalem, with the combined province being referred to in the register of the court of Jerusalem as the "Jerusalem Eyalet", and referred to by the British consul as creation of "Palestine into a separate eyalet". However, after less than two months, the sanjaks of Nablus and Acre were separated and added to the Vilayet of Beirut, leaving just the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem. In 1906, the Kaza of Nazareth was added to the Jerusalem Mutasarrifate, as an exclave, primarily in order to allow the issuance of a single tourist permit to Christian travellers. The area was conquered by the Allied Forces in 1917 during World War I and a military Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA South) set up to replace the Ottoman administration. OETA South consisted of the Ottoman sanjaks of Jerusalem, Nablus and Acre. The military administration was replaced by a British civilian administration in 1920 and the area of OETA South was incorporated into the British Mandate of Palestine in 1923.
The political status of the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem was unique to other Ottoman province since it came under the direct authority of the Ottoman capital Constantinople. The inhabitants identified themselves primarily on religious terms, 84% being Muslim Arabs. The district's villages were normally inhabited by farmers while its towns were populated by merchants, artisans, landowners and money-lenders. The elite consisted of the religious leadership, wealthy landlords and high-ranking civil servants.
In 1841, the district was separated from Damascus Eyalet and placed directly under Constantinople  and formally created as an independent Mutasarrifate in 1872. Before 1872, the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem was officially a sanjak within the Syria Vilayet (created in 1864, following the Tanzimat reforms).
The southern border of the Mutasarifate of Jerusalem was redrawn in 1906, at the instigation of the British, who were interested in safeguarding their imperial interests and in making the border as short and patrollable as possible.
In the mid-19th century the inhabitants of Palestine identified themselves primarily in terms of religious affiliation. The population was 84% Muslim Arabs, 10% Christian Arabs, 5% Jewish, and 1% Druze Arabs. Towards the end of the 19th century, the idea that the region of Palestine or the Mutasarifate of Jerusalem formed a separate political entity became widespread among the district's educated Arab classes. In 1904, former Jerusalem official Najib Azuri formed in Paris, France the Ligue de la Patrie Arabe ("Arab Fatherland League") whose goal was to free Ottoman Syria and Iraq from Turkish domination. In 1908, Azuri proposed the elevation of the mutassarifate to the status of vilayet to the Ottoman Parliament after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution.
The area was conquered by the Allied Forces in 1917 during World War I and a military Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA South) set up to replace the Ottoman administration. OETA South consisted of the Ottoman sanjaks of Jerusalem, Nablus and Acre. The military administration was replaced by a British civilian administration in 1920 and the area of OETA South became the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine in 1923, with some border adjustments with Lebanon and Syria.
Below are seven contemporary Ottoman maps showing the "Quds Al-Sharif Sanca" or "Quds Al-Sharif Mutasarr?fl". The fourth map shows the 1860 borders between Ottoman Syria and the Khedivate of Egypt, although the border was moved to the current Israel-Egypt border in 1906, and the area north of the Negev Desert is labelled "Filastin" (Palestine).
The division was bounded on the west by the Mediterranean, on the east by the River Jordan and the Dead Sea, on the north by a line from the mouth of the river Auja to the bridge over the Jordan near Jericho, and on the south by a line from midway between Gaza and Arish to Aqaba.
Administrative divisions of the Mutasarrifate (1872-1909):
The Mutasarr?fs of Jerusalem were appointed by the Sublime Porte to govern the district. They were usually experienced civil servants who spoke little or no Arabic, but knew a European language - most commonly French - in addition to Ottoman Turkish.
List of mutasarr?fs after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution:
Table IV.2 Population Density per km2, and Density Rank, 1894/95 (R. 1310), Rank 7, with population of 247,000 and density of 26.33 per km2; underlying source IUKTY 9075