Carved out of Ottoman Syria in 1920, the Transjordan territory was land placed under the British protectorate as part of the Palestine Mandate. In return, the French controlled Syria and Lebanon. The British had made a promise, endorsed by the US and the principal Allied Powers in World War I, to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine (the Balfour Agreement 1917). To honour this agreement, 76 per cent of Transjordan was given by the British protectorate to the Emir Abdullah, where it acted as an autonomous, self-governing region. The remaining 24 per cent, which lay west of the Jordan River, became a national home for the Jewish people. This was done on the understanding that the rights of the indigenous Arab population would not be prejudiced.
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