Palestine was under Ottoman rule for four centuries until the British took control. The Ottomans had fought hard to defend Jerusalem from British attack, an estimated 25,000 soldiers were martyred. Finally, they had no choice but to surrender. The Ottoman governor penned the following decree:
“Due to the severity of the siege of the city and the suffering that this peaceful country has endured from your heavy guns; and for fear that these deadly bombs will hit the holy places, we are forced to hand over to you the city.”
Signed Izzat the Mutasarrif of Jerusalem
On the 11th of December 1917, British General Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem on foot. Jerusalem would now be under British mandate and years later would fall under occupation by newly formed Israel.
Here are some photos of the Ottoman army at Masjid Al Aqsa before the British took control:
Below is an aerial photo of Jerusalem showing Masjid Al Aqsa. Highlighted, is the area Masjid Al Aqsa covers and the two main structures found within this area (the Dome of the Rock & Masjid Al Qibli) have also been labelled.