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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1948 Palestine war refers to the events that happened in Palestine between the vote on the partition plan of Palestine on November 30, 1947,[1] to the end of the first Arab-Israeli war on July 20, 1949.[2]

Historians divide this into two phases :

At the issue of the war, the State of Israel kept most of the area it had been allocated by the partition plan. Israel also took control a significant portion of the area allocated to the proposed Arab State. Including Jaffa, Lydda and Ramle area, Galilee, Negev, a strip along the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem road and some territories around Samaria (called today West Bank). No Arab Palestinian state was created: the remainder of the West Bank was annexed by Jordan and the Gaza Strip was placed under Egyptian military rule.

Due to the war, demographic changes occurred in the country. Between 700,000 and 750,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel but could not settle in the neighborhood Arab states and became what is known today as the Palestinian refugees. On the other side, around 10,000 Jews were also forced to leave their homes in Palestine. [4] In the three years following the war, 700,000 Jews settled in Israel, mainly along the borders and in former Arab lands.[5] Around 136,000 came from the 250,000 displaced Jews of World War II.[6] Most others were part of the 758,000 to 900,000 Jews who left or were expelled from Arab countries between 1948 and the Six-Day War.[7]

The Israelis refer to this period as their War of Independence or War of Liberation, because it saw the birth of the State of Israel while Palestinians, and Arabs refer to this as al-Nakba (the catastrophe), because of the huge number of displaced people and the failure of their nationalist aspirations, due to their loss in the war.




After the war, Israeli and Palestinian historiographies differed on the interpretation of the events of 1948. In 1980, and the opening of the Israeli and British archives, Israeli historians started giving new insights on them. Particularly, the role played by Abdullah I of Jordan, the British government, the Arab aims during the war, the balance of force and the events related to the Palestinian exodus have been nuanced or given new interpretations.[8] Some of them are still hotly debated among historians and commentators of the conflict today.[9]

Further reading

  • Yoav Gelber, Palestine 1948, Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, 2006, ISBN 1845190750
  • Saleh Abdel Jawad, The Arab and Palestinian Narratives of the 1948 War, in Robert I. Rotberg, Israeli and Palestinian Narratives of Conflict, Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 978-0-253-21857-5.
  • Efraim Karsh, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Palestine War 1948, Osprey publishing, 2002.
  • Walid Khalidi (ed.), All that remains.ISBN 0 88728 224 5.
  • Walid Khalidi, Selected Documents on the 1948 Palestine War, Journal of Palestine Studies, 27(3), 79, 1998.
  • Benny Morris, 1948, Yale University Press, 2008, ISBN 9780300126969
  • Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld Publications, 2006, ISBN 978-1-85168-555-4
  • Eugene Rogan & Avi Shlaim, The War for Palestine - Rewriting the history of 1948, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948. Strategy and Diplomacy, Routledge, 2004.


  1. ^ Resolution 181 (II). Future government of Palestine A/RES/181(II)(A+B) 29 November 1947
  2. ^ This corresponds to the signature of the armistice agreement between Syria and Israel. Others consider the war ended at the last cease fire on January 8, 1949.
  3. ^ David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948. Strategy and Diplomacy, Routledge, 2004.
  4. ^ "Jewish Refugees of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict". Mideast Web. Retrieved 2008-07-13.  
  5. ^ Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, chap. VI.
  6. ^ Displaced Persons retrieved on 29 October 2007 from the US Holocaust Museum.
  7. ^ Stearns, 2001, p. 966.
  8. ^ Avi Shlaim, The Debate about 1948, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Aug., 1995), pp.287-304.
  9. ^ Benny Morris, Benny Morris on fact, fiction, & propaganda about 1948, The Irish Times, 21 February 2008, reported by Jeff Weintraub


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