The 1948 Palestine war known in Arabic as al-Nakba (Arabic: النكبة, "The Catastrophe") and in Hebrew as the Milkhemet Ha'atzma'ut (Hebrew: מלחמת העצמאות, "War of Independence") or Milkhemet Hashikhrur (Hebrew: מלחמת השחרור "War of Liberation") refers to the war that occurred in the former British Mandate for Palestine during the period between the United Nations vote on the partition plan on November 30, 1947, and the official end of the first Arab-Israeli war on July 20, 1949.
Historians divide the war into two phases:
- The 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine (sometimes called an "intercommunal war") in which the Jewish and Arab communities of Palestine, supported by the Arab Liberation Army, clashed, while the region was still fully under British rule.
- The 1948 Arab–Israeli War after May 15, 1948, marking the end of the British Mandate and the birth of Israel, in which Transjordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq intervened and sent expeditionary forces that fought the Israeli army.
At the end of the war, the State of Israel kept the area that had been recommended by the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 but also took control of almost 60% of the area allocated to the proposed Arab state, including the Jaffa, Lydda and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem road and some territories in the West Bank. Transjordan took control of the remainder of the West Bank, putting it under military rule, and the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip. No Arab Palestinian state was created.
Demographic changes occurred in the country. Between 600,000 and 760,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel and became Palestinian refugees. Around 10,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes in Palestine. In the three years following the war, about 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel, where they settled mainly along the borders and in former Palestinian lands.
In Israel, the war is known as War of Independence or War of Liberation, because it was the origin of the State of Israel. Their traditional historiography sometimes marks the anniversary as of 15 May 1948. Some Palestinian and other Arabs refer to this as al-Nakba (the catastrophe), because of their loss of traditional lands which they had occupied for centuries, the high number of displaced people, and their failure to create a state following their defeat in the war.
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Famous quotes containing the words war and/or palestine:
“Against war one might say that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished malicious. In its favor, that in producing these two effects it barbarizes, and so makes the combatants more natural. For culture it is a sleep or a wintertime, and man emerges from it stronger for good and for evil.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“His Majestys Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
—A.J. (Arthur James)