1948 Arab-Israeli War

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1948 Arab–Israeli War
Part of 1947–1949 Palestine war
Raising the Ink Flag at Umm Rashrash (Eilat).jpg
Captain Avraham "Bren" Adan raising the Ink Flag at Umm Rashrash (a site now in Eilat), marking the end of the war
Date15 May 1948 – 10 March 1949[b]
(9 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
Former British Mandate of Palestine, Sinai Peninsula, southern Lebanon
Israel keeps the area allotted to it by the Partition Plan and captures ~60% of the area allotted to Arab state; Jordanian rule of West Bank, Egyptian occupation of the Gaza Strip


Before 26 May 1948: Paramilitary groups:

After 26 May 1948:
Badge of the Israel Defense Forces.svg Israel Defense Forces

Foreign volunteers:

 Arab League:

All-Palestine Protectorate Holy War Army
Arab Liberation Army (bw).svg Arab Liberation Army

Foreign volunteers:
Muslim Brotherhood
Commanders and leaders
Israel David Ben-Gurion
Israel Yisrael Galili
Israel Yaakov Dori
Israel Yigael Yadin
Israel Mickey Marcus 
Israel Yigal Allon
Israel Yitzhak Rabin
Israel David Shaltiel
Israel Moshe Dayan
Israel Shimon Avidan
Israel Moshe Carmel
Israel Yitzhak Sadeh
Arab League Azzam Pasha
Template:Country data Kingdom of Egypt King Farouk I
Template:Country data Kingdom of Egypt Ahmed Ali al-Mwawi
Template:Country data Kingdom of Egypt Muhammad Naguib
Template:Country data Transjordan King Abdallah I
Template:Country data Transjordan John Bagot Glubb
Template:Country data Transjordan Habis Majali
Kingdom of Iraq Muzahim al-Pachachi
Syrian Republic (1946–63) Husni al-Za'im
All-Palestine Protectorate Haj Amin al-Husseini
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg Hasan Salama 
Arab Liberation Army (bw).svg Fawzi al-Qawuqji
Israel: 29,677 (initially)
117,500 (finally)[Note 1]
Egypt: 10,000 initially, rising to 20,000[source?]
Transjordan: 7,500–10,000[9][10]
Iraq: 2,000 initially,[9] rising to 15,000–18,000[source?]
Syria: 2,500[source?]–5,000[9]
Lebanon: 1,000[11]
Saudi Arabia: 800–1,200 (Egyptian command)
Yemen: 300[source?]
Arab Liberation Army: 3,500–6,000.
13,000 (initial)
51,100 (minimum)
63,500 (maximum)[Note 2]
Casualties and losses
6,373 killed (about 4,000 fighters and 2,400 civilians)[12] Around 2,000 were Holocaust survivors.[13] Arab armies:
3,700–7,000 killed
Palestinian Arabs:
3,000–13,000 killed (both fighters and civilians)[14][15]

The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–49 Palestine war. It began after the end of the British Mandate for Palestine, at midnight on 14 May 1948. The Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day. A military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May.

The first deaths of the war occurred on 30 November 1947: Two busses carrying Jews were ambushed.[16] There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. Neither the Arabs nor the Jews liked British policies. The Arabs' opposition developed into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. The Jewish resistance developed into the Jewish insurgency in Palestine (1944–1947). In 1947, these tensions led to civil war . The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was adopted on 29 November 1947: it planned to divide Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and the Special International Regime for the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

One day after the Israeli declaration of independence, on 15 May 1948, the civil war transformed into a conflict between Israel and the Arab states. Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, and expeditionary forces from Iraq entered Palestine.[17] These forces took control of the Arab areas and immediately attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements.[18][19][20] Ten months of fighting took place mostly on the territory of the British Mandate and in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon, interrupted by several truce periods.[21]

As a result of the war, the State of Israel controlled the area that UN General Assembly Resolution 181 had recommended for the proposed Jewish state, as well as almost 60-percent of the area of Arab state proposed by the 1947 Partition Plan.[22] This included the Jaffa, Lydda, and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel AvivJerusalem road, West Jerusalem, and some territories in the West Bank. Transjordan took control of the rest of the former British mandate, which it annexed, and the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip. At the Jericho Conference on 1 December 1948, 2,000 Palestinian delegates called for unification of Palestine and Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity.[23] The conflict triggered significant demographic change throughout the Middle East. Around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes in the area that became Israel, and they became Palestinian refugees[24] in what they refer to as Al-Nakba ("the catastrophe"). In the three years after the war, about 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, many of whom had been expelled from their previous homelands in the Middle East.[25]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lebanon had decided to not participate in the war and only took part in the battle of al-Malikiya on 5–6 June 1948.[2]
  2. Final armistice agreement concluded on 20 July 1949.
  1. This includes the entire military personnel count – both combat units and logistical units.[8]
  2. At maximum, not half of the forces of the Israelis but these numbers include only the combat units sent to the former mandate-territory of Palestine, not the entire military strength.[8]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Oren 2003, p. 5.
  2. Morris (2008), p. 260.
  3. Gelber, pp. 55, 200, 239
  4. Morris, Benny (2008). 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. Yale University Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-300-14524-3.
  5. Morris, 2008, p. 332.
  6. Anita Shapira, L'imaginaire d'Israël : histoire d'une culture politique (2005), Latroun : la mémoire de la bataille, Chap. III. 1 l'événement pp. 91–96
  7. Benny Morris (2008), p. 419.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Gelber (2006), p. 12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Clodfelter, Micheal (2017). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492–2015, 4th ed. McFarland & Company. p. 571. ISBN 978-0-7864-7470-7.
  10. Tucker, Spencer (10 August 2010). The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf. ABC-CLIO. p. 662. ISBN 978-1-85109-948-1. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  11. Pollack, 2004; Sadeh, 1997
  12. Garfinkle, Adam M. (2000). Politics and Society in Modern Israel: Myths and Realities. M.E. Sharpe. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7656-0514-6.
  13. Weinthal, Benjamin (14 October 2012). "Compensation sought for... JPost – Jewish World – Jewish Features". Jpost.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  14. Laurens 2007 p. 194
  15. Morris 2008, pp. 404–06.
  16. Morris, Benny (2008). 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. Yale University Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-300-14524-3.
  17. David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: Israeli and Arab Strategy and Diplomacy, p. 153.
  18. Benny Morris (2008), p. 401.
  19. Morris,2008, pp. 236, 237, 247, 253, 254
  20. Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land, University of Michigan Press, 2009 p. 4: 'A combined invasion of a Jordanian and Egyptian army started ... The Syrian and the Lebanese armies engaged in a token effort but did not stage a major attack on the Jewish state.'
  21. Rogan and Shlaim 2007 p. 99.
  22. Cragg 1997 pp. 57, 116.
  23. Benvenisti, Meron (1996), City of Stone: The Hidden History of Jerusalem, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-20521-5. p. 27
  24. Morris, Benny; Benny Morris, Morris Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. pp. 602–604. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
  25. Morris, 2001, pp. 259–60.