Ottoman Turkey entered the war as an ally of Germany and in October of 1914 began conscripting several thousand Jews and Christians in Israel to work as forced Laborers. Generalissimo Djemal Pasha of the Ottoman army of Syria issued a proclamation against all Zionist enterprises. The effect of this was to:
1. Severely punish to anyone supporting the Jewish national cause. 2. Punish those who flew the Jewish flag (Star of David). 3. Disarm the Jewish self-defense force previously sanctioned by the Ottomans. 4. Allow the Arab marauders access to the Jews. 5. Close down the Anglo-Palestine Bank, which was a primary funding source for the Jews in Israel. 6. The Turks scoured the Jews provisions and made pitiless requisitions of them. 7. They cut down all the trees in the forest of Chederah (allowing the return of malaria).
As British forces closed in on Baghdad the Turks arrested many Jews accused them of supporting the British and then tortured and killed them. All the while 18,000 Jews were conscripted into the Turkish army to fight for them under the Crescent Moon flag. Approximately a thousand of them died in action. Once British General Allenby‚Äôs victory parade marched into Jerusalem in December 1917 the British officially had control of Palestine and could exert substantial influence in the way it would be occupied and administered. Allenby remarked, "The wars of the crusaders are now complete". The battle was a great moral victory for the British Empire although ceremonial, and it signified the end of the Ottoman Empire.