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An Arab Commander during the 1948 war. Source : Wikimedia.org

Arab-Israeli War of 1948 was the first war to be fought between the Arabs and the Jews over the possession of the Palestine territory. The war was fought between the coalition of seven Arab states and the infant state of Israel.

The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 lasted for almost 10 months between May 1948 to March 1949. The war ended with Israel as the winner.

Background to the Arab-Israeli War of 1948

Before the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, the Arab states and the Jews were in a bitter conflict over the possession of the Palestine area which was mostly occupied by the Arabs before the First World War.

After the First World War, the area known as the Palestine came under the British control as a mandatory territory. In 1917, the British Government issued an official statement which aimed at making Palestine a national home for the Jews. Since then, Jews from different parts of the world began immigrating to Palestine.

By 1948, the British government decided to end its mandatory status of controlling the Palestine area. Also in the year 1948, the United Nations voted in the General Assembly to partitioned the Palestine into two states, one for the Arabs and the other for Jews. This resolution was rejected by the Arabs who claimed that the Palestine was their state, and they would not shared it with the Jews. On the other hand, the Jews welcomed the resolution, and on 14 May 1948 proclaimed the state of Israel.

As soon as the Jews declared their state of Israel, on 15 May 1948, the Palestinian Arabs and some seven Arab states that included Egypt, Syria, Transjordan (now Jordan), Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the Kingdom of Yemen declared war on the Jews state of Israel.

The War

The army of the coalition of the Arab states entered into Palestine and began attacking areas occupied by the Jews. The attacks of the Arab forces concentrated more on the areas of Sinai Peninsula.

Initially, during the war, the Arabs army seemed to defeat the Israeli forces. However, eventually, the war turned against the Arabs. The Israeli forces were able to defend their proposed territory given to them by the United Nations. Also, by December 1948, the Israeli forces succeeded in annexing some areas from occupied by the Arabs such as the areas around the West Bank, some parts of Negev area. However, the Arab forces occupied some areas especially the Gaza Strip.

In March 1949, the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 came to an end with the signing of border agreement. The result of the war was that Israel state got more lands in from the Arabs. While, the coalition of the Arab forces failed to accomplish their mission.


The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 ended with the Palestinian Arabs in misery. Many Arabs lost their homes and possessions which made them refugees in some areas.

In terms of casualties, both sides lost their army and civilians. The Arabs lost almost 13,000 both from civilians and armies. While the Israeli lost more than 6000 from both armies and civilians.

Ahmad Abdullahi, BA History

My name is Ahmad Abdullahi, I was born on 10th March, 1994 in Garun-Danga Town, Gabasawa L.G., Kano State. I attended FCE Demonstration Primary School from 2002 to 2007, FCE Staff Secondary School from 2007 to 2013, and Northwest University, Kano from 2013 to 2017, where I obtained bachelor degree in History.

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