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The 1947 United Nations recommendation that the British mandate in Palestine be divided into Arab and Jewish states led to British withdrawal of occupying forces. On May 14, 1948, Israel proclaimed independence. Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria promptly invaded the new nation, leading to wars between Israel and the Arab nations for the next several decades.

Background

History is not a series of events with discrete beginnings and endings. The Arab-Israeli conflict is no exception. It goes back to the Roman expulsion of the Jews from Palestine in 70 ce. A few remained, but most Jews lived in exile, awaiting the Messiah and their return to their homeland. Over the next 18 centuries, Palestine was ruled by various regimes, the last of which was the Ottoman ...

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