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1948 Arab-Israeli War facts for kids

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1948 Arab–Israeli War
Part of 1947–1949 Palestine war
Raising the Ink Flag at Umm Rashrash (Eilat).jpg
Captain Avraham "Bren" Adan raising the Ink Flag at Umm Rashrash (a site now in Eilat), marking the end of the war
Date 15 May 1948 – 10 March 1949
(9 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
Former British Mandate of Palestine, Sinai Peninsula, southern Lebanon
  • Israeli victory
  • Jordanian partial victory
  • Palestinian Arab defeat
  • Egyptian defeat
  • Arab League strategic failure
  • 1949 Armistice Agreements
Israel keeps the area allotted to it by the Partition Plan and captures ~60% of the area allotted to Arab state; Jordanian rule of West Bank, Egyptian occupation of the Gaza Strip


Before 26 May 1948: Paramilitary groups:

  • Haganah Symbol.svg Haganah
  • Palmach
  • Hish Symbol.svg Hish
  • Him Symbol.svg Him
  • Irgun.png Irgun
  • Logo of the Lehi movement.svg Lehi

After 26 May 1948:
Badge of the Israel Defense Forces.svg Israel Defense Forces

  • Flag of Druze.svg Minorities Unit

Foreign volunteers:

 Arab League:

All-Palestine Protectorate Holy War Army
Arab Liberation Army (bw).svg Arab Liberation Army

Foreign volunteers:
Muslim Brotherhood
Commanders and leaders
Israel David Ben-Gurion
Israel Yisrael Galili
Israel Yaakov Dori
Israel Yigael Yadin
Israel Mickey Marcus 
Israel Yigal Allon
Israel Yitzhak Rabin
Israel David Shaltiel
Israel Moshe Dayan
Israel Shimon Avidan
Israel Moshe Carmel
Israel Yitzhak Sadeh
Arab League Azzam Pasha
Kingdom of Egypt King Farouk I
Kingdom of Egypt Ahmed Ali al-Mwawi
Kingdom of Egypt Muhammad Naguib
Jordan King Abdallah I
Jordan John Bagot Glubb
Jordan Habis Majali
Kingdom of Iraq Muzahim al-Pachachi
Syrian Republic (1946–63) Husni al-Za'im
All-Palestine Protectorate Haj Amin al-Husseini
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg Hasan Salama 
Arab Liberation Army (bw).svg Fawzi al-Qawuqji
Israel: 29,677 (initially)
117,500 (finally)
Egypt: 10,000 initially, rising to 20,000
Transjordan: 7,500–10,000
Iraq: 2,000 initially, rising to 15,000–18,000
Syria: 2,500–5,000
Lebanon: 1,000
Saudi Arabia: 800–1,200 (Egyptian command)
Yemen: 300
Arab Liberation Army: 3,500–6,000.
13,000 (initial)
51,100 (minimum)
63,500 (maximum)
Casualties and losses
6,373 killed (about 4,000 fighters and 2,400 civilians) Around 2,000 were Holocaust survivors. Arab armies:
3,700–7,000 killed
Palestinian Arabs:
3,000–13,000 killed (both fighters and civilians)

The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–49 Palestine war. It began after the end of the British Mandate for Palestine, at midnight on 14 May 1948. The Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day. A military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May.

The first deaths of the war occurred on 30 November 1947: Two busses carrying Jews were ambushed. There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. Neither the Arabs nor the Jews liked British policies. The Arabs' opposition developed into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. The Jewish resistance developed into the Jewish insurgency in Palestine (1944–1947). In 1947, these tensions led to civil war . The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was adopted on 29 November 1947: it planned to divide Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and the Special International Regime for the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

One day after the Israeli declaration of independence, on 15 May 1948, the civil war transformed into a conflict between Israel and the Arab states. Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, and expeditionary forces from Iraq entered Palestine. These forces took control of the Arab areas and immediately attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements. Ten months of fighting took place mostly on the territory of the British Mandate and in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon, interrupted by several truce periods.

As a result of the war, the State of Israel controlled the area that UN General Assembly Resolution 181 had recommended for the proposed Jewish state, as well as almost 60-percent of the area of Arab state proposed by the 1947 Partition Plan. This included the Jaffa, Lydda, and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel AvivJerusalem road, West Jerusalem, and some territories in the West Bank. Transjordan took control of the rest of the former British mandate, which it annexed, and the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip. At the Jericho Conference on 1 December 1948, 2,000 Palestinian delegates called for unification of Palestine and Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity. The conflict triggered significant demographic change throughout the Middle East. Around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes in the area that became Israel, and they became Palestinian refugees in what they refer to as Al-Nakba ("the catastrophe"). In the three years after the war, about 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, many of whom had been expelled from their previous homelands in the Middle East.

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See also

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