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Since the United Nations partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948 there have been four major Arab-Israeli wars 1947 1956 1967 and 1973 Today I have been asked to speak about the first three to leave the most recent one for another speaker to cover in great depth at another time The first war began as a civil conflict between Palestine Jews and Arabs following the United Nations recommendation of Nov 29 1947 to partition Palestine then still under British mandate into an Arab state and a Jewish state Quickly fighting spread as the Arabs attacked the Jewish settlements to prevent the implementation of the UNs planJewish forces prevented seizure of most settlements but Arab guerrillas did takeover Jerusalem By April Haganah the principal Jewish military group took offence scoring victories against the Arab Liberation Army in Northern Palestine Jaffa and Jerusalem British military forces withdrew to Haifa although officially neutral some commanders took sidesAfter the British had departed and the state of Israel had been established under the premiership of David Ben-Gurion the Palestine Arab forces and foreign volunteers were joined by regular armys of Transjordan Iraq Lebanon and Syria with slight support from Saudi Arabia UN efforts to stop the fighting were unsuccessful until June 11 when a four week truce was declared When the Arab states refused to renew the truce ten more days of fighting began In that time Israel greatly extended the area under its control and broke the siege in Jerusalem Fighting on a smaller scale continued during the second UN truce beginning in July and Israel then acquired territory in the Galilee and the Negec By January 1949 when the last battles had ended Israel had extended its frontiers by 1930 sq mi beyond the 4983 sq mi allocated to the Jewish state in the UN partition resolution It had also secured its independence During 1949 armistice agreements were
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