History - OnThisDay - 14 May 1948 - Independence of Israel

On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish agency declared
"the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State
of Israel."


After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, some Jewish communities
were settled in Palestine.

In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and it remained
under Turkish rule until the end of the First World War.

When Britain defeated the Ottoman forces, they set up a military
administration across the former Ottoman Syria.

In 1920 the territory was divided between Britain and France under a
'mandate system' and the British administered area included modern
day Israel was named Mandatory Palestine.

Between 1904 and 1914 many Jews settled in Palestine. The Balfour
declaration of 1917 stated that Britain intended for the creation of a
Jewish national home within the Palestinian Mandate.

Between 1919 and 1923 some additional 100,000 Jews moved to
Palestine, this continued with the rise of Nazism  and the persecution
of the Jews in Europe during the 1930's and the Second World War.

After World War II Britain found itself in intense conflict with the
Jewish community over Jewish immigration limits as well as a
continued conflict with the Arab community over limit levels.

The Haganah (a Jewish paramilitary organisation) joined other
paramilitary organisations as Irgun and Lehi against their struggle
against British rule.

On 22 July 1946, Irgun attacked the British administrative headquarters
for Palastine which was housed in the southern wing of the King David
hotel in Jerusalem.

On 15 May 1947, the General Assembly of the Newly formed
United Nations resolved that the United Nations Special Committee on
Palestine be created. There was a plan to form an independent Jewish
State, an independent Arab State and the City of Jerusalem ...

On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate,
the independence of Israel was declared.

The next day, all this caused an exodus among the Palestinians which they
called Nakba Day or the catastrophe.

Palestinian Refugees

The armies of four Arab countries: Egypt; Syria; Transjordan and Iraq,
entered the British Mandatory Palestine and they launched the 1948,
Arab-Israeli War.

After a year of fighting a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders
were established. Around 700,000 Palestinians were expelled by or fled
from advancing Israeli forces during the conflict.

On 11 May 1949 Israel was admitted as member of the United Nations
by majority vote.

David Ben-Gurion played a major role in establishing the new state.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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