End of the War of Independence

How did the War of Independence end?

After Israel declared its independence, and the neighboring Arab countries invaded,the Security Council issued several calls for a cease-fire, but the Arabs ignored them. Even after a strongly-worded Resolution of May 29, 1948 ordering a four-week cease-fire, they went on fighting, and it took lengthy negotiations by the UN Mediator to bring the truce into force on June 11th. Towards the end of the four weeks, the Council appealed to the parties to prolong the truce. Israel responded, but the Arabs did not, and hostilities were resumed on July 9, 1948. On the southern front, the Egyptians resumed hostilities one day before the expiry of the truce.


The War proceeded through the rest of 1948 with a series of truces, frequently broken, to the negotiated agreements that ended the war in 1949. Fighting ended with a cease-fire January 7, 1949and the War of Independence was formally terminated on July 20, 1949 with the signing of the Israel-Syria armistice agreement.Only Iraq did not sign an armistice agreement with Israel. It preferred to withdraw its troops and hand over its sector to the Arab Legion of Jordan.

Throughout the latter phases of the war, Israel gained strength, fought successfully and not only ejected the invading Arab forces, but also captured and held some 5,000 sq. km. over and above the areas allocated to it by the United Nationsin the original partition plan, with a considerable improvement in defensible borders.

At the end of the War of Independence in 1949, Jerusalem was left divided, with a border running through the city and cutting neighborhoods, streets, even houses. East Jerusalem was held by TransJordan and would remain so untilJune 1967, after the1967 War. Nonetheless, Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and as soon as fighting stoppedgovernment offices began to move there.The first Knesset was elected before the end of the War of Independence. Its location changed several times before it moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Economically, at the end of the War of Independence in 1948 the new, reborn State of Israel was in a state of exhaustion. Holocaust survivors from Europeand other displaced persons from Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africaflooded into Israel by the tens of thousands. Its treasury was empty, its economy was in danger of collapse and its already meager resources were drained. It was the Israel Bond organization that provided the economic foundation thatconverted the desperate Israel of the late1940s into the modern and dynamic State of Israel.

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