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David vs Goliath

On this day in 1948, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Transjordan (now Jordan) invaded a newly-born nation. The state of Israel had come into existence just a few hours earlier

Published: 15th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2017 12:48 AM   |  A+A-

On this day in 1948, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Transjordan (now Jordan) invaded a newly-born nation. The state of Israel had come into existence just a few hours earlier

A home for the Jews
In 1917, Palestine passed into British hands after the Ottoman Caliphate was defeated in WWI. Britain then said it supported a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration

In August 1929, leaflets prepared by Jerusalem’s Mufti (Haj Amin al-Husseini) instructed Muslims to attack the Jews. One such leaflet said that Jews had “violated the honour of Islam” ... Instead of responding to Muslim violence by cracking down on its perpetrators, the British punished its victims by giving the Mufti exactly what he was seeking: a reduction in Jewish immigration and a statement by the British high commissioner that the Balfour Declaration was a “colossal blunder”

Britain’s role
Britain separated Transjordan from Palestine in 1922 and stopped Jewish settlement in the former. And in 1939, UK sought to limit Jewish migration to Palestine to 10,000 per year, according to the BBC. However, after the Nazi Holocaust in the 1940s, many Jews migrated to Palestine

The newborn wins
In 1947, the UN recommended partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. The Jews were a substantial majority in the areas assigned to them. On March 14, 1948, Israel came into existence. The Arabs then invaded the nascent nation in an attempt to destroy it and exterminate its populace

When Arab nations occupied Palestine
The war lasted nearly 10 months. After the battle, Israel had more territory than envisaged under the partition plan. But Palestine’s Arabs were denied the right to self-determination as Transjordan annexed West Bank and eastern Jerusalem while Egypt occupied Gaza



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