This Day in History (29-Nov-1947) – U.N. votes for partition of Palestine

As part of the 19th-century Zionist movement, Jews had begun settling in Palestine as early as 1820. The effort to establish a Jewish homeland received British approval in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. During the 1930s, Jews persecuted by the Hitler regime poured into Palestine. The post-World WarII acknowledgment of the Holocaust—Hitler’s genocide of 6 million Jews—increased international interest in and sympathy for the cause of Zionism. The British mandate to govern Palestine, which had been in place since 1923, ended after the war, and, in 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a small international zone. Arabs rejected the idea, but the plan moved forward and the British officially withdrew on May 14, 1948, and the Jewish National Council proclaimed the State of Israel.

Hostilities broke out almost immediately after the state of Israel was proclaimed. Neighboring Arab nations invaded, intent on crushing the newly declared State of Israel. Israel emerged victorious, affirming its sovereignty. By the cease-fire on Jan. 7, 1949, Israel had increased its original territory by 50%, taking western Galilee, a broad corridor through central Palestine to Jerusalem, and part of modern Jerusalem. The new border is called the Green Line. As many as 750,000 Palestinians either flee or are forced from Israel and settle in refugee camps near Israel’s border. The status of the refugees goes on to become a sticking point in further Arab-Israeli relations. The Palestinian defeat and exodus is known as the Nakba, or disaster.

The new Israel government was admitted to the UN on May 11, 1949. The remaining areas of Palestine were divided between Transjordan (now Jordan), which annexed the West Bank, and Egypt, which gained control of the Gaza Strip. Through a series of political and social policies, Jordan sought to consolidate its control over the political future of Palestinians and to become their speaker. Jordan even extended citizenship to Palestinians in 1949.

The conflicts around Israel and Palestine continued for years. In October 2011, UNESCO admitted the “State of Palestine” as a member.

Reference:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/un-votes-for-partition-of-palestine

http://www.infoplease.com/world/countries/israel-palestine-conflict/early-history.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Palestine

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