Allenby Enters Jerusalem

In 1917, General Allenby, commander of the British Expeditionary Forces in Egypt , liberates Jerusalem.

The British began their campaign by capturing the Sinai from the Ottomans in a series of three battles. The next step was to conquer Gaza. British forces first attacked Gaza on March 26th, 1917, then again on March 26th, and were repulsed both times. British Generals commanding the forces were relieved of their commissions and a stalemate ensued. The British broke through Ottoman lines, when they captured Beersheva, following the Battle of Beersheva on October 31st, 1917. British expeditionary troops then went on to capture Jaffa, defeating Ottoman troops there on November 14th. The British and the Ottomans clashed in a number of battles that became known as the Battle of Nebi Samwill. Ultimately, the British emerged victorious over the Ottomans in these encounters.

On December 9th, 1917, Jerusalem was occupied by the British forces. As a gesture of respect, General Allenby, who led the British troops, was directed to make his entrance into Jerusalem on foot. When he arrived, Allenby stated: “We have come not as conquerers, but as deliverers. It is our intention to open a new era of brotherhood and peace in the Holy Land.” To the Jews, Allenby’s arrival was celebrated as a great moment. There was hope that a new era had dawned for the Jews of Palestine.