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 Holiday Central > Yom Ha'atzmaut > Israel's War of Independence
Israel's War of Independence

After years of British rule that began in 1917, the Jewish people were to have their own, internationally recognized state, situated in the God promised land of Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel.

The Arabs immediately rejected the November 29, 1947 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181-- which called for the partition of Israel, and which was to create two side-by-side states, one Arab and one Jewish -- and refused to acknowledge the right of the Jews to their land.  Violence broke out immediately, as Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher committee's spokesman, promised that the soil of Israel will be drenched with Jewish blood.

The Arabs declared a protest strike, and instigated new riots, killing 62 Jews in the first days.  The Arabs then begin a blockade of the city of Jerusalem and engaged in road ambushes, bombings and massacres. The first large-scale Arab offensive against the Jews took place in January, when over 1000 Arabs attacked the northern communities.  The British claiming that they couldn't hold the Arabs back, actually aided the Arab Legion and irregular Arab fighters by handing over to them military bases and arms.

On May 14th, 1948 - Fifth Day of Iyar,  5708
The State of Israel is Born

Officially, the war commenced upon the termination of the British Mandate of Palestine in mid-May of 1948; on the fifth day of Iyar, Israel's Independence day, the Arabs attacked the Jews of Israel. This war, a major component of the miraculous story of the creation of the State of Israel is referred to as the War of Independence (Hebrew: מלחמת העצמאות‎, Milchemet HaAtzma'ut) or the War of Liberation (Hebrew: מלחמת השחרור‎, Milchemet HaShihrur).

Five Arab states, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria attacked the state of Israel, leading to fighting mostly on the former territory of the British Mandate and for a short time also on the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon. The war concluded with the 1949 Armistice Agreements, but it, unfortunately, was only the beginning the Arab-nations determination to eliminate Israel off the map.


Mazor Guide to Yom Haatzmaut brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.

MazorGuide Recommended Reading

Letters from Jerusalem 1947-1948 (Paperback)
~ by Zipporah Porath

Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine (Paperback)
~ by Samuel Katz


Hebrew for Kids


Amazing New Kosher
Cookbook. BUY

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