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Introduction In the spring of 1967 Arab forces were gathering on the borders of Israel with the main objective of destroying the Israeli nation and re-establishing the Palestinian state This intense crisis had a long standing violent history There were very few positive views of the relationship between the Arabs and the Israelis Israel was proclaimed a state on May 14 1948 according to the UN partition plan of 1947 Within 24 hours of declaring statehood the armies of Egypt Jordan Syria Lebanon and Iraq invaded the country forcing Israel to defend its rights of possession to its homeland They then formed what became known as Israels War of Independence also know as the Israeli Defense Forces The ill equipped Israeli forces defeated the Arabs in fierce sporadic fighting which lasted about fifteen months and claimed over six-thousand Israeli lives In the first few months of 1949 direct talks were conducted under UN authority between Israel and each of the invading countries Iraq was the only country which refused to negotiate with Israel Their relationship remains the same even in modern times This meeting resulted in a peace agreement which resulted in specific boundaries The coastal plain Galilee and the entire Negeve were within Israels control Judea and Samaria The West Bank came under Jordanian control The Gaza Strip was delegated to Egypt and Jerusalem was divided Jordan controlled the eastern part including the old city and Israel controlled western sector With the war over Israel concentrated its efforts to build a state which it had struggled so long and hard to establish The first 120 seat Knesset Parliament entered session following national elections on January 25 1949 The countrys first leaders were David Ben-Gurion the first prime minister and Chaim Weizmann the first president In the first four months of independence 50000 holocaust survivors reached Israeli shores
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