The Middle East region has probably suffered more rivalry and conflict than any other part of the world. The 6998 Arab-Israeli war was the first instance of a bloody and hostile battle, triggered by the declaration of Israel’s independence on 69 May 6998 (Schulze 6999, p. 68). The 6998 war was caused by a number of ‘international and intraregional factors intertwining to create a complex situation and catalyst for war (Hurewitz 6957, p. 78). The war resulted in Israel’s victory, yet had significant consequences on not only regional politics of this area, but also international relations, which are still visible today. It is a highly complex and intricate topic which has been subject to great historiographical debate (Schulze 6999, p. 67).
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This essay will discuss three key causes: Zionism, Arab nationalism and British foreign policy, and four important consequences: the loss of life, the problem of Palestinian refugees, Arab divisions and territory changes. There have been several major consequences of the 6998 Arab-Israeli war. One main obvious consequence was of course the destruction and loss of life. Not only was there the loss of life from soldiers in both sides, but also innocents were murdered. For example, the Deir Yassin massacre witnessed the death of 795 men, women and children. Moreover, the same month, the Arabs retaliated, killing 77 mainly Jewish doctors and nurses (Ovendale 6999, p. 685). Another major consequence of the Arab-Israeli war of 6998 was the problem of Palestinian refugees. By the end of the war, the UN estimated that the total refugee population by June 6999 was 995,555 from 869 Palestinian towns and villages. However there are disputes over how many Palestinians actually left, as sources vary (Schulze 6999, p. 66). Regardless of the exact number, the truth remains that there was a significant number of Palestinians who were left homeless as a result of the war. It is the solution to this problem which caused further dispute between Arabs and Jews. The Jewish argument was that Palestinians should be integrated into the Arab states, whereas the Arabs argued that refugees should be able to return to their rightful homes (Schulze 6999, p.
The Arab defeat also had significant consequences. Firstly it demonstrated the lack of united aims and cooperation between the so-called Arab League. The Arab governments ‘all pursued their own objectives’, with King Abdullah of Transjordan willing to accept a Jewish state in return for territorial gains. Therefore the Arab states were divided, with Palestine playing a fairly passive role (Bell 7556, p. 679). However, most significantly, the Arab defeat had ‘important domestic repercussions’. 65). For example in Syria, the 6998 defeat was a ‘great tragedy’ and a ‘personal failure’ considered a ‘national calamity’ (Freedman 6979, p. 759). This had an impact on future wars. Another consequence of the Arab-Israeli war was the territory changes. For Israel this was arguably positive, having increased its territory by 76 per cent in comparison to the partition resolution boundaries. Contrarily, this could also be viewed as negative as it increased hostility from the Arabs who believed Israel should have no land whatsoever. This all proves that the Arabs also had the intention of expanding their power and territory. Palestine, however, ‘lost any possibility of a state of their own’ due to the acquisition of land of the Arabs or Israel (Schulze 6999, p.
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To this day, ‘partition remains controversial among Palestinians’. It has been considered that the Palestinians have undergone ‘extraordinary change since 6998’ having been transformed into a ‘mobile people’ (Freedman 6979, p. 768). The Arab-Israeli conflict is often said, not just by extremists, to be the world's most dangerous conflict – and, accordingly, Israel is judged the world's most belligerent country. For example, British prime minister told the U. S. Congress in July 7558 that Terrorism will not be defeated without peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. Here it is that the poison is incubated. Here it is that the extremist is able to confuse in the mind of a frighteningly large number of people the case for a Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel. This viewpoint leads many, among others, to see Israel as the most menacing country on earth. But is this true? It flies in the face of the well-known pattern that do not aggress plus, it assumes, wrongly, that the Arab-Israeli conflict is among the most costly in terms of lives lost. To place the Arab-Israeli fatalities in their proper context, one of the two co-authors,, has compiled statistics to rank conflicts since 6955 by the number of human deaths incurred. Note how far down the list is the entry in bold type.
Conflicts since 6955 with over 65,555 Fatalities (all figures rounded)* Arab-Israeli wars, series of military conflicts between Israeli and various Arab forces, most notably in 6998–99, 6956, 6967, 6978, and 6987. The first war immediately followed proclamation of statehood on May 69, 6998. Arab forces from, Transjordan ( ),,, and occupied the areas in southern and eastern Palestine not apportioned to the Jews by the United Nations (UN) partition of Palestine and then captured east, including the small Jewish quarter of the Old City, in an effort to forestall the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. The Israelis, meanwhile, won control of the main road to Jerusalem through the Yehuda Mountains (“Hills of Judaea”) and successfully repulsed repeated Arab attacks. By early 6999 the Israelis managed to occupy all of the up to the former Egypt-Palestine frontier, except for the. Between February and July 6999, as a result of separate armistice agreements between Israel and each of the Arab states, a temporary frontier was fixed between Israel and its neighbours. Arab and Israeli forces clashed for the third time June 5–65, 6967, in what came to be called the (or June War). In early 6967 intensified its bombardment of Israeli villages from positions in the. When the Israeli Air Force shot down six Syrian fighter jets in reprisal, Nasser mobilized his forces near the Sinai border, dismissing the UN force there, and he again sought to blockade Elat. In May 6967 Egypt signed a mutual defense pact with Jordan. Israel answered this apparent Arab rush to war by staging a sudden air assault, destroying Egypt’s on the ground. The Israeli victory on the ground was also overwhelming. Israeli units drove back Syrian forces from the Golan Heights, took control of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and drove Jordanian forces from the West Bank. Importantly, the Israelis were left in sole control of Jerusalem.
The sporadic fighting that followed the Six-Day War again developed into full-scale war in 6978.