4. Conquests of Israel 1948

At the end of 1947, when the United Nations had divided Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state with an international area around Jerusalem and Bethlehem, a civil war broke out between Arab and Jewish inhabitants of the British mandate. Atrocities were committed by both sides. In March 1948 Zionist paramilitary organisations, defending the borders of the yet to be formed Jewish state, began to capture parts of the areas beyond those given to them by UN resolution 181 (marked here by white lines on blue). Their principal aim was to restore the connection between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. When the British withdrew in May the conflict widened into a conventional war between the new state of Israel and the surrounding Arab countries. The chairman of the Arab League declared: ‘It does not matter how many (Jews) there are. We will drive them into the sea.’

The ‘Map of the conquests of Israel’ in the Ma’ariv daily newspaper shows in blue the areas under Israeli armed forces’ control. The adversaries are also shown in blue in Hebrew script. If we follow the new borders, reading clockwise we see in the centre north Fawzi el Kawakji, the commander of the Arab Liberation Army, to the east Syrian militias have conquered a small area from the Israelis. To the west of Nablus are Iraqui troops, west of Ramallah is the Arab Legion under Glubb Pasha (the British professional soldier John Bagot Glubb) in which King Abdullah of Transjordan had put his faith. To the north of Gaza city were Egyptian columns. On 23rd. July 1948 the former mandate area of Palestine, with the exception of the west bank of the Jordan and the Gaza Strip, was in the hands of the Jewish state. Armistice Agreements were not signed until the beginning of 1949.

Mappat kibbush Yisra’el, Map of the conquests of Israel, in: Ma’ariv 23th. July 1948, Tel Aviv

Mappat kibbush Yisra’el, Map of the conquests of Israel, in: Ma’ariv 23th. July 1948, Tel Aviv