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Al-Nakba: 1948 Palestinian Exodus: Commissions of Inquiry

The guide was created in support of The Palestinian Oral History Archives Project at AUB Libraries. The guide focuses on the various aspects of historiography of 1948 Palestinian Nakba and highlights selective library resources, projects and websites.

Major Commissions of Inquery (1919-1948)


Date Events and related commissions, memorandum, reports ...
1919 First Palestinian National Congress held in Jerusalem from January 27 to February 10, 1919. Two memoranda were sent to Paris Peace Conference rejecting Balfour Declaration and demanding independence.
قرار المؤتمر العربي الفلسطيني الأول بإرسال وفد الى مؤتمر الصلح في باريس عام 1919

Nabi Musa riots, April 4-7, 1920.The first major disturbance in Jerusalem.
Palin commission - April 12, 1920

San Remo Conference  in relation to Belfour Declaration & British Mandate, April 25, 1920. Decision taken was to Place Palestine under British Mandate.

1921 Jaffa Riots, May 1-7, 1921. Series of violent riots that took place in Jaffa. As results of the 1921 riots was the immediate suspension of Jewish immigration by the high commissioner. However, this order was canceled after two months. Haycraft Commission - May 6, 1921. Reports of the commission of inquiry with corespondence relating Thereto.

British White Paper of 1922 also known as Churchill White Papers or Churchill Memorandum, June 1922
Main purpose of this report was to clarify the meaning of the Balfour Declaration of November 1917.

British Mandate for Palestine - July 1922. The mandate comes officially into force, September 29, 1923


Shaw Commission. On the Commission's recommendation, Jewish immigration was frozen.

Hope-Simpson Commission along with Passfield White Paper - October 1930 were established in the wake of the August 1929 Western Wall disturbances. Both reports investigate the 1929 riots and propose policies to to prevent their recurrence.


Palestine Royal Commission or Peel Commission Partition Plan - July 1937. The commission reported that the Palestine Mandate was not viable.

1938 Palestine Partition Commission or Woodhead Commission was formed in January 1938. Commissioners recommended three different partition plans.
1939 British White Paper of 1939. The paper was a greater act of expediency than the Balfour Declaration and it called for the creation of a Jewish National Home in an independent Palestinian state.
1942 Biltmore Conference - May 1942 in New York city.
1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry.
1947 Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), eleventh commission of inquiry appointed since 1919. Click here for summary