Chapter 11 - The Legal Ramifications of the War of Independence

On 29th November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly resolved that British Mandated Palestine should be partitioned into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted UN Resolution 181, and the Arabs rejected it.

The surrounding Arab countries – Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt – swore that they would invade and destroy an independent Jewish State as soon as it was declared.  The British government had assessed that, if attacked by its neighbours, the Jewish State would probably last no more than three weeks.  Instead of helping the Jewish community of Palestine to defend itself, Britain had imposed an arms embargo on the Jewish fighting forces, while at the same time arming and training the armies of Egypt and Jordan.

On 14th May 1948, Britain withdrew its forces from Palestine, thus ending its administration as the Mandatory power.  Later that same day David Ben-Gurion declared the Independence of the State of Israel in what is now Independence Hall in Tel Aviv.

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