ArabIsraeli Wars Essay Research Paper ARABISRAELI WARS

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Arab-Israeli Wars Essay, Research Paper ARAB-ISRAELI WARS ================= Since the United Nations partition of PALESTINE in 1947 and theestablishment of the modern state of ISRAEL in 1948, there have been fourmajor Arab-Israeli wars (1947-49, 1956, 1967, and 1973) and numerousintermittent battles. Although Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in1979, hostility between Israel and the rest of its Arab neighbors,complicated by the demands of Palestinian Arabs, continued into the 1980s. THE FIRST PALESTINE WAR (1947-49) The first war began as a civil conflict between Palestinian Jews andArabs following the United Nations recommendation of Nov. 29, 1947, topartition Palestine, then still under British mandate, into an Arab stateand a Jewish state. Fighting quickly spread as

Arab guerrillas attackedJewish settlements and communication links to prevent implementation of theUN plan. Jewish forces prevented seizure of most settlements, but Arabguerrillas, supported by the Transjordanian Arab Legion under the commandof British officers, besieged Jerusalem. By April, Haganah, the principalJewish military group, seized the offensive, scoring victories against theArab Liberation Army in northern Palestine, Jaffa, and Jerusalem. Britishmilitary forces withdrew to Haifa; although officially neutral, somecommanders assisted one side or the other. After the British had departed and the state of Israel had beenestablished on May 15, 1948, under the premiership of David BEN-GURION, thePalestine Arab forces and foreign volunteers were joined by regular armiesof

Transjordan (now the kingdom of JORDAN), IRAQ, LEBANON, and SYRIA, withtoken support from SAUDI ARABIA. Efforts by the UN to halt the fightingwere unsuccessful until June 11, when a 4-week truce was declared. When theArab states refused to renew the truce, ten more days of fighting erupted. In that time Israel greatly extended the area under its control and brokethe siege of Jerusalem. Fighting on a smaller scale continued during thesecond UN truce beginning in mid-July, and Israel acquired more territory,especially in Galilee and the Negev. By January 1949, when the lastbattles ended, Israel had extended its frontiers by about 5,000 sq km(1,930 sq mi) beyond the 15,500 sq km (4,983 sq mi) allocated to the Jewishstate in the UN partition resolution. It had also secured

itsindependence. During 1949, armistice agreements were signed under UNauspices between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Thearmistice frontiers were unofficial boundaries until 1967. SUEZ-SINAI WAR (1956) Border conflicts between Israel and the Arabs continued despiteprovisions in the 1949 armistice agreements for peace negotiations. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs who had left Israeli-heldterritory during the first war concentrated in refugee camps along Israel’sfrontiers and became a major source of friction when they infiltrated backto their homes or attacked Israeli border settlements. A major tensionpoint was the Egyptian-controlled GAZA STRIP, which was used by Arabguerrillas for raids into southern Israel. Egypt’s blockade of Israelishipping in

the Suez Canal and Gulf of Aqaba intensified the hostilities. These escalating tensions converged with the SUEZ CRISIS caused by thenationalization of the Suez Canal by Egyptian president Gamal NASSER. Great Britain and France strenuously objected to Nasser’s policies, and ajoint military campaign was planned against Egypt with the understandingthat Israel would take the initiative by seizing the Sinai Peninsula. Thewar began on Oct. 29, 1956, after an announcement that the armies ofEgypt, Syria, and Jordan were to be integrated under the Egyptian commanderin chief. Israel’s Operation Kadesh, commanded by Moshe DAYAN, lasted lessthan a week; its forces reached the eastern bank of the Suez Canal inabout 100 hours, seizing the Gaza Strip and nearly all the Sinai Peninsula. The