As we know, right before the UN final decision for the partition of Palestine, Jews already owned 20% of the cultivated land in Palestine. An often overlooked fact is how Jews acquired those lands. As early as the 1880's Jews fleeing persecution in the Russian Empire were immigrating to Palestine and legally purchasing land. Beirut-based Christian Orthodox families, most notably the Sursocks, owned vast areas of land in Palestine. In 1906 the Sursock family started selling land to the Jewish National Fund and a few years later they sold the Jezreel Valley to the Rothschilds. In total, the Sursocks and other Christian families from Beirut sold more than 600,000 dunams to Jews prior to the UN partition plan, on which 80 settlements were founded.