Israeli - Arab War(1948)


The Israeli - Palestinian conflict is an ongoing conflict between Palestine ( a.k.a West Bank ), Arab Nations, and Israel. It had started in 1948 after both nations had got freedom from the British.

During the British rule over these 2 countries, Israel and Palestine were 1 country, but when the British decided to leave by separating them into a Jewish majority country-(Israel) and a Muslim majority country-(Palestine). The Palestinians thought this was just another propaganda of the British and declared war on Israel.


This War was not only between Israel and Palestine but also Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, and Syria backing Palestine. In this war, Israel had no support and was just a new country like Palestine.


The Israelis had started with 30,000 in the war and had 117,000 soldiers by the end of the war, whereas the Arab allies started with 28,000 and ended with 700,000 soldiers.


The Israeli side had a total of 10,700 fatalities ( including civilians ) and the Arab allies had 20,000 fatalities ( including civilians )

Refugee crisis at the start of the war:-

Before the war, there were Jews in the Palestinian state and visa versa. After the ambush of the 2 Jewish buses by the Arabs, there were massive protests, even becoming violent in many areas. This lead to the compromise in the safety of the Jews in Palestine ad Muslims in Israel. In a lot of Palestinian areas where the Jews lived, the Jews were driven out of the society and were left to be refugees and at the same time in Israel, the Muslims were taken out of the Israel state leaving at least 700,000 Palestinian refugees and 260,000 Israeli refugees.

First Phase (15 may - 11 june):-

On the midnight of 15th May 1948, Israel had got its independence from the British Mandate. After a few hours, the Arab allies invaded Israel and attacked several Jewish society residents.

Now Israel, from 1 April to 14 May, conducted 8 full-scale military operations outside of the area allotted to a Jewish state by the partition, and the Israeli government later stated that it had not been for the Arab invasion, Haganah forces would have reached 'the natural borders of Israel. Although the Arab invasion was declared erroneous by the United States, the Soviet Union(Russia), and the UN, it found support from China and some UN member states.

The primary plan was to allow Lebanese forces to attack from the North, Egyptians from the South, Jordan from the West, Saudi Arabia from the South-West, and other Arab states to help these forces, but it was rejected by the king of Jordan, Abdullah. Abdullah thought this plan would go in the favour of the Syrian forces and the other Arab states didn't want to go for war without the Jordan Forces. Later Lebanon had stepped out of the war and decide to not take part in it.

Once the war had started the Haganah Forces were no more paramilitary forces but an actual full-fledged army.

Southern War/Front :-

On 15th May the Egyptian Forces, the largest among the Arab allies Attacked From the North of Egypt on 2 settlements of Israel using artillery, planes, cannons, and rifles, but met high resistance by the Israeli Forces and failed 2 take control. On the 19th of May the Egyptian Forces attacked another base with fewer than 100 Israeli soldiers only armed with rifles and few grenades, the Israelis still resisted the 2.500 Egyptian Forces and had far fewer casualties than the Egyptian forces.

From 29 May, Israeli forces stopped the Egyptian invasion north in Operation Pleshette.During This Period the Israeli Air force strafed the 500 armored Egyptian vehicles column. The Israeli planes dropped bombs and strafed the column. Out of the Formation of the Israeli Air Force, 2 planes had crashed killing 1 pilot. This caused the Egyptian Forces to lose the rhythm and dispatch by the time they could form up again. After this success, the Israeli Forces Constantly air raided the Egyptian sites and this caused the Egyptians to change their roles from offensive to defensive.

Later on 6th June, the Egyptian forces attacked Israel and gained its first major victory of the war, this battle was known as the Battle of Nitzanim

Battle of Latrun :-

This was the heaviest fighting and occurred in Jerusalem. It was between the Israeli and Jordanian forces. Due to the advancing of the Egyptian forces into Israel, the soldiers abandoned the Fortress of Latrun and went via Tel Aviv road as a part of the redeployment program to stop the Egyptians. But before the Israelis could do this, the Arabs seized the road and the Fortress, blocking all supplies to both soldiers and civilians in Jerusalem.

In the attempt to take back the Fortress of Latrun the Israelis fought from 24th May to 18th July, sustaining losses of 600 approx. and in the process, they lost Mickey Marcus, Israel's first General.

Battle for Jerusalem :-

After the annexation of the Tel Aviv road, which was the main supply for Jerusalem, the Israeli civilians and the Forces had a shortage of food and ammunition. King Abdullah had ordered his General's to enter main Jerusalem and fire, following this the Jordanian's fired up to 10,000 bullets and artillery daily.

After a heavy fight from compound to compound till 28th may, finally the Arabs had succeeded in pushing Israeli forces from the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and the Jewish areas. A total of around 1000 Jewish people were either detained or expelled. the Jewish people who were expelled were still in a fear of them getting killed by Palestinian mobs.

Arab forces later attacked Ramat Rachel, the Arabs and the Israelis fought intensely till both had deaths of 32 and 12 respectively, the Arabs partly captured the Kibbutz and later recaptured Radar hill. After more heavy fighting killing 19 Israelis and 3 Jordanians, 23 attempts of recapturing Radar Hill had failed.

North Samaria :-

The Iraqi forces crossed from northern Jordan and attacked Gasher, an Israeli settlement, but failed to gain success. On 25th May, the Iraqi forces approached Netanya but they were stopped by Israeli forces. Then on 29th May the met with heavy fighting over Jenin with Israeli Forces but even though they remained in position, they had ended there involvement in the war after no success.

The Iraqi offense failed, so they started holding defensive positions to put pressure on the Israelis. On 25th May the Iraqi Forces advanced and took Geulim but were stopped by Israelis and the Israelis retook Geulim after heavy fighting for few days.

Lake of Galilee :-

The Syrian forces attacked Israel and the leader of Syria had ordered the troops to vitiate the zionists. At the same time, the Israeli commanders had been complaining over shortages in rifles and other weapons. On 15th May the Iraqis attacked Samath from the Sea of Galilee but were hindered and stopped by the Israelis. On the 18th of May, the Iraqis succeeded in conquering Samath and neighboring abandoned territories with heavy Artillery like tanks and military aircraft.

Air Operations :-

Sherut Avir (SA), the Haganah Air operations Force, started minor air operations from a small airport on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The SA had a rather weak air command compared to the Arab forces with the spitfires, T-6s, C-47s, Avro Anson. On 10th May, SA faced their first combat loss of a total of 3 aircraft, logistics and carriage support aircraft, maintenance aircraft, and an aircraft with air staff.

The Egyptian Air Force (REAF) strafed Tel Aviv on 15th of May damaging and destroying some aircrafts of the SA and killing few Israelis. Throughout the hours and days the REAF strafed Tel Aviv causing few casualties and some damage. On 18th of May the REAF bombed a public area near a bus station killing 43 and injuring over a 100 people. Over the next few days the Egyptian forces strafed small village settlements killing few.

Over a few days the Egyptian attacks had decreased after 5 aircraft were attacked by the Royal British Air Force, the attack was a retaliation of the 'accidental' attack on a British aircraft of by the REAF. The REAF lost multiple Spitfires and their top pilots.

Tel Aviv Airport 1948

Soon after the decrease in Air attacks on Israeli settlements, the SA attacked the Egyptian settlements with small aircrafts replacing bombers, but they did very little damage. These attacks were usually done at nights to avoid interception by the REAF. These attacks soon became major and strong attacks after the delivery of the Avia s-199's.

The Israelis knocked up there first achievement on the 3rd of june when a lone pilot brought down two REAF planes that had just bombed Tel Aviv. Later the Israeli Air Force intercepted multiple Egyptian aircrafts on their way to bomb Tel Aviv, from then on there were no tries to bomb Tel Aviv. By mid-August the SA had gained air superiority as they had better pilots, some pilots were from external countries who fought in WWII.

On 30th May after multiple interceptions and bombing of REAF, The Egyptians attacked a Israeli air base damaging aircraft, killing 8 and wounding about 30. In retaliation the Israeli forces bombed the Arab cities with 50 to 100 pound bombs killing 12 and wounding around 30.

Sea Conflicts :-

The Israeli Navy had few good ships, 2 from the United States and 1 from Canada. The Israeli navy had started right after the independence of the country, the British weren't really having a good relationship with Israel and to transport the ships, he country had to go secretly to avoid British seizing or interception on its way to Tel Aviv. The ships were made to look commercial and for daily need supplies.On its reach to Tel Aviv, it was modified with weapons and other guarding mechanics to guard the coast from Egypt.

First Truce :-

The first truce was signed on 29th of May, It was extending from 29th May to the 8th of July. This truce was a ceasefire between both sides. The period was used as a way of planning, improving and recovering for an another war after the truce.

Second Phase :-

This phase was for a period of 10 days, in these 10 days there were several air conflicts and bombing but was dominated by the Israelis. This battle was called the Ten Day War

On the last day of the truce, 8th July, the Egyptians attacked Negba. In retaliation the Israelis air raided 2 major spots the following day, the Egyptians bombed Tel Aviv. The Israelis were strong enough to take back and start a new type of living in several kibbutz too.

Southern Front :-

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was attacking Arab villages irrespective if it was with army troops or civilians. They usually had no or very less opposition or resistance from the villagers due to lack in weapons, poverty and hunger and hence the operations ran easily and smoothly. sometimes the IDF faced resistance but were put down after lack in manpower of villagers and later the ones who had opposed and fought were either exiled or executed.

The Egyptians attacked Negev the second time after the first unsuccessful raid. They received high resistance and failed to capture it miserably losing 200-310 and wounding around 20-30 whereas the Israelis lost 5 and wounded 16.

After multiple unsuccessful attempts to capture several regions, the Egyptian forces focused on attacking small, almost isolated and abandoned villages. These attempts were also unsuccessful after resistance from few villagers and also lost and wounded many soldiers