Colonial governments frequently employed policies that either developed colonies for the benefit of the colonial power or neglected areas not viewed as contributory. Land laws and settlement policies were instrumental tools for the extension of governmental control to marginal regions under the sequential regimes that ruled the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries. Our case study of the Baysan valley in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine examines relations between the government and indigenous Bedouin nomads, and between the Zionist movement and the Bedouin, focusing on land access, ownership, and settlement patterns of the Bedouin tribes between 1831 and 1948 and their sedenterization. We show that the policies of the Ottoman Sultan Abdül Hamid II and the British Mandatory Ghor Mudawarra Land Agreement led to a unique process of settlement in the Baysan valley with extension of land ownership to local inhabitants by the colonial government. The study is part of a broader investigation of Colonial rule, nomads, land law, and land and settlement policy in the Middle East.


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pp. 49-79
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