World History Chronology

Foraging Peoples

Settled Agriculture

Primary Urbanization

Early Mesopotamian Civilizations

Expansion and Contraction of Mesopotamian Empires

Cosmopolitan Empires

Islamic Empires

Modern Era


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Independence of Israel/The Arab-Israeli War


            The story of modern-day Israel does not begin in 1948 with the declaration of independence: It goes back 2500 years to the destruction of the 1st temple of Judah in 586 BC, and the subsequent scattering of the Jewish people called The Diaspora; the Jewish people were left with no country to call their own [1].

Since the Diaspora, there have been many attempts to re-establish a homeland for the Jewish people. In the 1880's, the desire for the rebirth of Jerusalem became an actual movement called Zionism [2]. Jews from all over the world began to immigrate to the Holy Land, then occupied by the British Government. After World War II and the atrocities of the Holocaust, a worldwide outcry led Great Britain and the U.N to partition the country into Arab and Jewish States on May 14th, 1948 [3]. The Israelis, under the leadership of leader David Ben-Gurion declared independence and the creation of the new Jewish state. 

Return to The Middle East in the Modern Era Chronology 

Original Border
Border After the War
Original border of Israel
Israel's border at the end of the Arab-Israeli War

Signing of the Jewish
Declaration of Independence

Within hours, the Jewish state was attacked by the League of Arab States, a coalition of Arab countries consisting of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, in addition to the native Palestinians [4]. Zionists had been stockpiling arms secretly after World War II, and managed to stop the advance of the Arab armies. After a U.N sponsored truce from June 11 to July 8th, the war began again, with Israel in a much stronger position. Israel pushed back Syrian and Egyptian forces, leaving the Israelites with a much greater amount of land than before. A truce was finally signed on the January 24th between Egypt and Israel, with the other nations soon following.

700,000 Palestinian refugees were forced to leave their homeland immediately before, during, and after the war; the lucky moving to different Arabic countries, the rest interned in camps. This only has bred more conflict, resulting in 2 more wars, multiple actions and intifadas (holy wars). Peace in Israel, long looked for, is hard to find.



[2] Ibid

[3] Holmes, Richard

[4] Metz, Helen Chaplin



 Holmes, Richard, ed., The Oxford Companion to Military History. New York; Oxford University Press, 2001.

 Metz, Helen Chapin, ed.,  .Israel, a Country Study,  Area handbook series3rd ed. Washington, D.C.; Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1990.

Smith, Charles D., Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict,3rd ed., New York, [NY] :;St. Martin's Press, 1996.

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