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Extra info for Access to History for the IB Diploma. The Arab-Israeli conflict 1945-79
They were convinced that they had justice on their side and that international public opinion was coming round to support the idea of an independent Jewish state. In August 1945, the Zionist conference decided on a policy of active opposition to British rule in Palestine. Their leaders ordered the Haganah, the Jewish defence force, to co-operate with Irgun and the Stern Gang, two secret, underground Jewish organizations. British military bases, railways, trains and bridges in Palestine became the target of these terrorist groups.
His army was the one that the Israelis were keenest to defeat, for two main reasons. indb 48 04/12/2012 15:02 Chapter 3: The establishment of Israel and the war of 1948–9 City that contained the Jewish holy places. Secondly, they knew that the Legion was the most effective and best trained Arab army and they believed that, if they could defeat it, then the other Arab armies would collapse. However, the Israelis were not able to defeat the Legion and the Israeli offensive was halted. Nevertheless, the Israelis did gain control of West Jerusalem without a big struggle and were thus able to feed and protect the Jewish population in that part of the city.
How significant were Israel’s territorial gains? A map showing Israeli gains in the 1948–9 war. indb 50 04/12/2012 15:02 Chapter 3: The establishment of Israel and the war of 1948–9 First phase of war, May–June 1948 • Israelis resisted invasion from north • Failed to defeat Arab Legion but gained control of West Jerusalem Second phase of war, July 1948 • Israelis re-equipped and reorganized during ceasefire • Israelis gained land in north and kept control of West Jerusalem Third phase of war, October 1948 to January 1949 • Israelis defeated Egyptians Summary diagram The war of 1948–9 2 The results of the war Key question: What was the impact of the war on Israelis and Palestinians?