First Arab-Israeli War , 15 May 1948
Arab opposition to an Israeli state began after the Balfour Declaration 1917, which supported the idea of a Jewish national homeland. In the 1920s there were anti-Zionist riots in Palestine, after the British mandate government allowed thousands of Jews to immigrate to Palestine from all over the world.
In 1936 an Arab revolt led to a British royal commission that recommended partition (approved by United Nations 1947), but rejected by the Arabs.
When it became clear that the British intended to leave by May 15, leaders of the Yishuv decided (as they claim) to implement that part of the partition plan calling for establishment of a Jewish state. In Tel Aviv on May 14 the Provisional State Council, formerly the National Council, “representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the World Zionist Movement,” proclaimed the “establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Medinat Israel (the State of Israel) � open to the immigration of Jews from all the countries of their dispersion.”
On May 15 the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas who had been fighting Jewish forces since November 1947.
The war now became an international conflict, the first Arab-Israeli War.
Six-Days war , 5-10 June 1967
After the Suez-Sinai war Arab nationalism increased dramatically, as did demands for revenge led by Egypt’s president Nasser. The formation of a united Arab military command that massed troops along the borders, together with Egypt’s closing of the Straits of Tiran and Nasser’s insistence in 1967 that the UNEF leave Egypt, led Israel to attack Egypt, Jordan, and Syria simultaneously on June 5 of that year. The war ended six days later with an Israeli victory. Israel’s French-equipped air force wiped out the air power of its antagonists and was the chief instrument in the destruction of the Arab armies.
The Six-Day War left Israel in possession of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, which it took from Egypt; Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which it took from Jordan; and the Golan Heights, taken from Syria. Land under Israel’s jurisdiction after the 1967 war was about four times the size of the area within its 1949 armistice frontiers. The occupied territories included an Arab population of about 1.5 million.
In 1973 Egypt joined Syria in a war on Israel to regain the territories lost in 1967. The two Arab states struck unexpectedly on October 6, which fell on Yom Kippur , Israel’s holiest fast day .
After crossing the swise channel the Arab forces gain a lot of advanced positions in Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights and manage to defeat the Israeli forces for more then three weeks.
Israeli forces with a massive U.S. economic and military assistance managed to stop the arab forces after a three-week struggle and defeat with the cost of many casualties,and the Arabs strong showing won them support from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and most of the world’s developing countries.
Israel, forced to compete with the nearly unlimited Arab resources, was faced with a serious financial setback. Only massive U.S. economic and military assistance enabled it to redress the balance, but even American aid was unable to prevent a downward spiral of the economy.
In an effort to encourage a peace settlement, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon charged his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, with the task of negotiating agreements between Israel and Egypt and Syria. Kissinger managed to work out military disengagements between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai and between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights during 1974.
From 1978 the presence of Palestinian guerrillas in Lebanon led to Arab raids on Israel and Israeli retaliatory incursions.
On 6 June 1982 Israel launched a full-scale invasion. By 14 June Beirut was encircled, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Syrian forces were evacuated mainly to Syria 21-31 Aug.
In Feb 1985 there was a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the country without any gain or losses incurred. Israel maintains an occupied area called as a ‘security zone’ in South Lebanon and supports the South Lebanese Army Militia of Lahad, both were occupying the south of Lebanon to defend israelis from palestinian attacks, and both carried out number of massacres against Lebanese and Palestinian people.
Israel’s alleged complicity in massacres in two Palestinian refugee camps increased Arab hostility and many other massacres like Beirut, Nabattiyeh, Abbasiyeh, Qana with hundreds of lebanese civilians killed by Israelis. Talks between Israel and Lebanon , between Dec 1982 and May 1983, resulted in an agreement, drawn up by US secretary of state George Shultz, calling for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon within three months. Syria refused to acknowledge the agreement, and left some 30,000 troops, with about 7,000 PLO members, in northeast, Israel retaliated by refusing to withdraw its forces from the south.
Meanwhile the problems in Lebanon continued. In 1984, under pressure from Syria, President Gemayel of Lebanon abrogated the 1983 treaty with Israel , but the government of national unity in Tel Aviv continued to plan the withdrawal of its forces. Guerrilla groups of the lebanese resistant on south of Lebanon started their resistant against the Israeli occupation since 1985 when the main important resistant group in Lebanon which is Hizbollah was founded. Most of the withdrawal was complete by June 1985 except the south of Lebanon of what so called the ‘security zone’. The south of Lebanon was liberated by resistant operations when Israel withdraw in 25/5/2000. Israel still occupying Shebaa farms and other small areas until today.
Prime Minister Peres met King Hussein of Jordan secretly in the south of France 1985, later, in a speech to the UN , Peres said he would not rule out the possibility of an international conference on the Middle East . PLO leader Yasser Arafat also had talks with Hussein and later,in Cairo, renounced PLO guerrilla activity outside Israeli-occupied territory . In Israel , government of national unity was having some success with its economic policies , inflation falling in 1986 to manageable levels, but from 1987 it was faced with an organized Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories, the Intifada.
Relations between Israel and the Palestinians entered a new phase in the late 1987 with the intifada, a series of uprisings in the occupied territories that included demonstrations, strikes, and rock-throwing attacks on Israeli soldiers . The harsh response by the Israeli government drew criticism from both the United States and the UN.
The uprising began Dec 1987 in the Gaza Strip. Rumours that a fatal traffic collision had been caused by Israeli security service agents in retaliation for the stabbing of an Israeli the previous week led to demonstrations by teenagers armed with slingshots. It subsequently spread, despite attempts at repression. Some 1,300 Palestinians and 80 Israelis were killed in the uprising up to the end of 1991. Many Palestinian private homes were dynamited by military order.
The Arabs failed to prevent establishment of a Jewish state, and the war ended with four UN-arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The frontiers defined in the armistice agreements remained until they were altered by Israel’s conquests during the Six-Day War in 1967.