1948 Palestine war

1948 Palestine war

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, to the end of the first Arab-Israeli war on July 20, 1949. [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.]

Historians divide this into two phases:
* A civil war (also named Intercommunal War) [David Tal, "War in Palestine, 1948. Strategy and Diplomacy", Routledge, 2004.] in which Palestinian Arabs, supported by the Arab Liberation Army, and Palestinian Jews, fought against each other while the region was still fully under British rule.
* The 1948 Arab-Israeli War after May 15, in which Israel fought Transjordan, Palestinians, and soldiers from other Arab states for the control of the country.

At the issue of the war, the State of Israel kept most of the area it had been allocated by the partition plan and took control of 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. During that war, between 700,000 and 750,000 Palestian Arabs fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel.

The Israeli often 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 massive population exodus and the death of their nationalist aspirations, due to the takeover of their land.


* United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine
* 1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
* 1948 Arab-Israeli War
* 1949 Armistice Agreements
* 1948 Palestinian exodus


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. [Avi Shlaim, "The Debate about 1948", International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Aug., 1995), pp.287-304.] Some of them are still hotly debated among historians and commentators of the conflict today. [Benny Morris, "Benny Morris on fact, fiction, & propaganda about 1948", The Irish Times, 21 february 2008, [http://jeffweintraub.blogspot.com/2008/02/benny-morris-on-fact-fiction-propaganda.html reported by Jeff Weintraub] ]

Further reading

* Eugene Rogan & Avi Shlaim, "The War for Palestine - Rewriting the history of 1948", Cambridge University Press, 2001.
* Efraim Karsh, "The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Palestine War 1948", Osprey publishing, 2002.
* David Tal (historian), "War in Palestine, 1948. Strategy and Diplomacy", Routledge, 2004.
* Yoav Gelber, "Palestine 1948", Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, 2006, ISBN 1845190750
* Benny Morris, "1948", Yale University Press, 2008, ISBN 9780300126969
* Walid Khalidi, " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0377-919X(199821)27%3A3%3C60%3ASDOT1P%3E2.0.CO%3B2-%23 Selected Documents on the 1948 Palestine War] ", Journal of Palestine Studies, 27(3), 79, 1998.


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