The 1948 war

The battle over history

Authored by: Kirsten E. Schulze

The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415778626
eBook ISBN: 9780203079553
Adobe ISBN: 9781136160691

10.4324/9780203079553.ch4

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Abstract

On 29 November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine. The partition plan envisaged the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab state in the territory which had been under British control since the end of the First World War. However, no sooner had the vote been concluded than both Arabs and Jews in Palestine started to arm themselves. In December intercommunal clashes erupted in what became the first phase of the 1948 war. This phase was effectively one of civil war characterized by intense, bitter fighting between the two communities in Palestine. The second phase of the war began with Israel's declaration of independence on 14 May 1948 and the subsequent attack by the neighbouring Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, ostensibly to liberate Palestine. The civil war thus was transformed into an interstate conflict.

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