U.N. Resolution 181 was passed in 1947 which presented the partition plan. According to this, the area of Palestine remaining after the creation of Trans-Jordan is to be further divided into two states, an Arab and a Jewish depending upon the population density. The resolution was accepted by the Jews but rejected by Palestinian Arabs.In May 1948, the day British mandate came to an end; Jews in Palestine declared their own independence. Proclaimed by the Jewish People’s Council, it came to known as the State of Israel. The next day, Palestinian Arabs, accompanied by neighboring Arab states of Yemen, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt invaded Israel and it started the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israeli Defense Force made the Arab League nations to retreat from portions of the occupied territories, extending its borders much more than the proposed partition plan. By the end of 1948, Israel had occupied much of the mandated Palestine, west of the Jordan River.
Before and during the war, more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled from their homes to become refugees. Much of these Arabs fled fearing their massacres at the hand of Jewish militant organization while many of them left their homes on the promise of Arab leaders that they would be able to return safely after the war is over.
The war ended in 1949 with Arab countries and Israel signing Armistice Agreements.From 1948 to 1952, more than 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel with a substantial number of them from other Arab countries. Until the end of 1960, this number was increased to more than 800,000.
As not much good had come out of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Egypt did what it could to destruct Israel by banning Israeli shipping from the Straits of Tiran and blocked the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel responded to this by invading the Sinai Peninsula in the same year, with the support of British and French. Arabs were outnumbered in the Suez Canal Crisis and Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip. United Nations and United States intervened and declared a ceasefire. Israel was asked to withdraw forces from the Egyptian territory and Egypt was asked to uplift the ban in return and allow Israel navigation in the region.Having realized that Arab loss in the wars is due to weak political standing of the Arab leaders, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was established in 1964, with the liberation of Palestine as one of their main purposes. The United Nations Emergency Force which was created to oversee the demilitarization in Egypt was expelled in 1967; instead 100,000 soldiers were stationed in the Sinai Peninsula. The Strait of Tiran was closed to Israeli shipping once again, returning the blockade situation to its previous state of 1956.The same year, May of 1967, Jordan bound itself in a mutual defense pact with Egypt and mobilized the Sinai units. Later, Israel launched a surprise attack on the Egyptian Air Force. This was the Six-Day War where Israel turned out victorious, capturing the Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.
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