Arab Israeli War – Year 1948

The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, acknowledged  by Israelis as the War of Liberation was the first in succession of wars fought between the State of Israel and its Arab counterparts in the long standing Arab-Israeli rivalry. The war started upon the termination of the British Mandate of Palestine and the Israeli declaration of independence on 15 May 1948, what continued was a period of civil war in 1947–1948.


After the Arab rejection of the 1947 UN General Assembly Resolution that would have created an Arab state and a Jewish state side by side, five Arab states –  Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria – attacked Israel, which had announced its independence on the eve of final British surrender. The fighting took place on the former land of the British Mandate and for a limited time also in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon. Arabs refer to mostly as the Catastrophe occurred amidst this war. The war ended with the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

The British Mandate over Palestine was due to retire on 15 May, but Jewish leadership ruled by Ben-Gurion announced independence on 14 May. The State of Israel acknowledged itself as an independent nation, and was soon realised by the Iran, United States the Soviet Union, and various other countries. Arab forces invaded the infant state, within hours. In an official cablegram from the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to the UN Secretary-General on 15 May 1948, the Arab states publicly declared their focus of creating a “United State of Palestine”, to replace the Jewish and Arab, two-state, UN Plan.

In the Arab League’s official declaration, they established their intention to include within their responsibilities a restoration of order in Palestine and develop a single democratic state, which they declared as being the only solution to the rivalry. What followed was an announcement of Palestine to be an Arab country, and therefore acknowledged as the independence of the State of Palestine. They thought that partition was illegitimate, as it was opposed by the majority of Palestine’s Arab, and maintained that the absence of legal authority made it essential to intervene to protect the Arab people and property. The Israelis conclude that the plan was not illegitimate, since Jews were the majority in areas and assigned to the Jewish state.

In 1949, Israel signed several separate armistices with Egypt on 24 February, Lebanon on 23 March, Jordan on 3 April, and Syria on 20 July. The new borders of Israel, included about 78% of Mandatory Palestine after the independence of Jordan in 1946. This was about 18% more than the UN partition recommendation allowed it. These ceasefire lines were known to be afterwards as the Green Line. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip were inhabited by Egypt and Jordan respectively. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and Mixed Armistice Commissions were set up to monitor ceasefires, supervise the armistice agreements, to prevent isolated incidents from increasing, and assist other UN peacekeeping arrangements in the area.

During the 1948 War, around 10,000 Jews were forced into evacuation of  their homes in Palestine or Israel, but in the three years after the war, 700,000 Jews settled in Israel, mostly along the borders and in prior Arab lands. Around 136,000 came from the 250,000 displaced Jews of World War II. Roughly another 270,000 came from Eastern Europe. The rest of which was around 300,000 people whom established the first move of a total of 750,000 or more Jews who over the next thirty years would escape an progressively hostile Arab world.

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