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Civil War and the Destruction of the Palestinian Community, 1947-1948 (205)

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Introduction: Civil War and the Destruction of the Palestinian Community: November 1947 - May 1948

THE Palestine problem was now rapidly approaching its catastrophic climax. On 29 November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution recommending the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, a Palestinian state, and a special international regime (corpus separatum) for Jerusalem and its environs; an economic union would be set up between the Jewish and Palestinian states. The Palestinians and other Arabs were as stunned as the Zionists and their sympathizers were jubilant. The very reactions of each side belied the claim that partition was a compromise solution.

The British Entrapped

Barbed wire and other barriers put up by the British around their administrative compound (left) in central Jerusalem, for protection against acts of terrorism by Zionist groups, fall 1947.

The Importation of a Military Industry

As early as 1945, David Ben-Gurion (then chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive) arranged on a visit to the United States for the purchase of entire military plants, which were being sold ostensibly as scrap at the end of the war.

Cairo Street Rejects Palestine Partition

On 29 November 1947 a resolution recommending the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state was virtually forced through the United Nations General Assembly by the United States. It was received with shock and consternation by the entire Arab and Muslim worlds.

UN Partition Plan Facilitates Civil War

The UN partition recommendation (a resolution by the UN General Assembly is not binding) precipitated a series of Jewish-Palestinian clashes. These clashes escalated into total civil war during the remaining months of the British Mandate, which ended on 15 May 1948.

Zionist Terrorism

A bomb thrown from a passing taxi at a bus in the Palestinian residential quarter outside Herod's Gate, Jerusalem, on 29 December 1947 killed seventeen Palestinian civilians.

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