The Ottoman Turkish sultan Selim I conquered Palestine in 1516 CE, and incorporated it in the Ottoman Empire. Under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent an extensive programme of works was carried out, including rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and the restoration of the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque.
Palestine was divided by the Ottomans into the districts (sanjaks) of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre. Heavy taxation and repressive measures by the Ottoman authorities led to several revolts, with local leaders declaring ‘autonomous’ rule, such as Zahir al-‘Umar in northern Palestine, with his capital in Acre.
In 1801, a French invasion of Egypt and Palestine led by Napoleon was repelled at Acre by Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar. Muhammad ‘Ali declared independence in Egypt and occupied Palestine (1831-1840).
The first wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine was in 1881. The aim to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine was declared by Herzl at the 1st Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897.
In 1916, the British and French agreed to divide the defunct Ottoman Empire between them. Jerusalem was captured by British forces led by General Allenby in 1917.
Era: Ottoman Period (1516—1917)