During the period under review the rights and privileges of religious communities in Jerusalem, both Arab and Christian minorities, were partly regulated by Ottoman statutes, for example those dated 1757 and 1852. However, some rights, privileges and immunities enjoyed by some or all of the Christian communities had never been defined or codified. While to some extent they were covered by various Ottoman firmans or decrees, in some cases the relevant firmans were contradictory and in the others the oral privilege had never been confirmed in writing.
The position of Christian communities during the Mandate was regulated primarily by the terms of the Mandate and the 1922 Palestine Ordering Council. The legal status of Christian communities has since been respected, and in some cases extended, by Israel.
Apart from the Druzes, who were recognized as a separate religious community and were allowed to serve in the Israeli Armed Forces, other Arab minorities have been under constant pressure in Israel, the Gaza and Sinai, and the United Nations has adopted several resolutions regarding human rights in Israel. Over 100,000 Arabs fled the country during the Arab–Israeli war and further numbers have been expelled from Israel since its creation.
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