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Arab-Israeli conflict 1948-9 1947-. Introduction The land known as Palestine had, by 1947, seen considerable immigration of Jewish peoples fleeing persecution.

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Presentation on theme: "Arab-Israeli conflict 1948-9 1947-. Introduction The land known as Palestine had, by 1947, seen considerable immigration of Jewish peoples fleeing persecution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Arab-Israeli conflict 1948-9 1947-

2 Introduction The land known as Palestine had, by 1947, seen considerable immigration of Jewish peoples fleeing persecution. Zionist Jews were particularly in favour of getting Palestine as a new Jewish homeland. The local Palestinian population of Muslim Arabs felt that the influx of newcomers was threatening their way of life. Clashes between the Arabic and Jewish populations had been frequent and bloody. The British rulers of Palestine decided on a repression of the Arabic people to keep the peace. By 1947 this had achieved an unhappy calm between all three groups.


4 May 15 1948? The United Nations Partition Plan (1947) had decided that partition was the best way to stop the fighting in Palestine. The Jews were to get c.55% of the land, and the Arabs, 45%. Naturally the Palestinian Arabs rejected it out of hand. The Jewish - leader Ben-Gurion -gave it a cautious welcome. All sides knew, however, that the British rule was coming to an end. Their ‘Mandate’ (permission) to rule only lasted until May15 1948. Both sides waited for the momentous day- to see who would be able to take what. The whole world watched with baited breath……!

5 May 14, 1948-Israeli Independence Day. The Arabic Palestinians, led by the Arab Higher Committee, moved first. There was a wave of anti-Jewish protests, Jewish shops were looted, and Jewish people attacked. The Jewish provisional government decided that they had to act independently. They felt that they had to act for themselves- and not wait for the British to leave. May 14, 1948 The Prime Minister Ben Gurion declared the Independence of Israel,only one day before the end of the mandate, and in a climate of fear and violence.

6 David Ben Gurion.1886-1976 Prime Minister of Israel 1948-1953, and 1955-1963. Born in Poland. He left in 1906 because of pogroms. Joined the British army in 1918 and got military experience. Ardent Zionist but not an extremist. Refused terrorism as a political tool. Urged Jews to form military self- defence force (Haganah). Declared Israeli independence despite Jewish opposition! (Passed 6-4) Credited with unifying all Jewish forces into one IDS (Israeli defence force)

7 David Ben-Gurion declares Israel’s Independence May 14, 1948 Israel was quickly recognised by the USA and Russia. They were powerful, and rich, friends.

8 1948-9 Israeli War of Independence. Arab League countries declared war on the new Israel immediately. Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon all planned invasions. The idea was to crush Israel before it could become established.

9 1948 Arab Invasion plans of Israel ( in red.) From Lebanon and Syria From Transjordan and Iraq From Egypt

10 Israeli Defence Force. (IDF) Ben Gurion realised immediately that Israel needed to concentrate all her soldiers. All armed units- Zionist, or otherwise -were amalgamated into one force, the IDF. Arab forces were, conversely, dispersed and under separate control. To begin with the Israelis relied on what they had learned in WWII and from helping the British army. Equipment was scarce and usually old. In time, however, more supplies arrived and Israel’s military technology by 1949 was superior to the Arabs’. But before this happened the Israelis relied on sheer enthusiasm and superior military intelligence. Israel won the air war, for example, by better strategy, rather than better technology.

11 The war itself. It was a disaster for the Arabic nations. The Israeli forces were far stronger than any of them expected. Many Jews had fought in World War II and they had reasonable weaponry-mostly also from World war II. The Jewish army also greatly increased in size, whereas the Arab forces grew only slowly..

12 Army sizes. Israeli Forces 1948 Initial strength29,677 4 June40,8254 June 17 July63,58617 July 7 October88,0337 October 28 October92,27528 October 2 December106,9002 December 23 December107,65223 December 30 December108,30030 December Arab forces 1948 July 40,000 October 55,000 January 60,000

13 The Avia S-199 Israel’s first fighter plane. World War II experts may recognise it- it is, ironically, the old German Messerschmitt BF 109 which was now used by Israel to fight it’s old enemy the Spitfire- now being flown by the Egyptians. Israel also managed to buy some Spitfires too!

14 Israeli children today still make models of their nation’s first plane.

15 Old military equipment. This gun was pre-World War One vintage.

16 Arab soldiers firing on an Israeli settlement.

17 Motorised weaponry.

18 Results of the war. Only the Jordanians and the Egyptians made any real gains. The Jordanians grabbed East Jerusalem and the ‘West Bank’ land. The Egyptians gained a strip of coast-line called the ‘Gaza strip’. Elsewhere the Arabic forces were all pushed back. 1949 the United Nations declared a cease-fire on the ‘Green Line’. Israel signed armistice agreements with all the Arab states. Israel had expanded by another 25%!

19 ‘West Bank’-Jordanian Gaza Strip-Egyptian Israel

20 Nakba ‘disaster’ Up to ¾ of a million Arab Palestinians lost their homes in the war and fled South or East. Massive refugee camps sprang up and conditions were horrific. These camps proved ideal places for Arab resistance movements to begin recruiting members.

21 Palestinian Arab refugees. The seeds of years of future discontent ?

22 More refugees….. Meanwhile Jewish people fled in the opposite directions- into Israel or back to Europe, or even to the USA. Israel’s population doubled as Arabic states all expelled their Jewish population.

23 Point of principal. For now, Israel had won her right to exist. The Arab league had to think again before challenging this right. Palestinians who had lost homes were a strong voice of protest against the new state. Ben Gurion was a national hero.

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