November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted 33-13 to divide the British Mandate for Palestine into two independent states, one Jewish and one Arab. This resolution was known as the Partition Plan. The plan called for the British to withdraw their forces over the course of a year. After the British withdrawal, the Jewish community would be given control over 56 percent of the land. This larger portion was to accommodate the large numbers of Jewish refugees from Europe following the Holocaust. The indigenous Arab population of Palestine was allotted 43 percent of the land. The cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were placed under special control of international forces to preserve peace, as those cities are considered holy by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, and were potential sites of religious violence.
On May 14, 1948, one day before British forces were to withdraw, the Jewish community in Palestine published the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel, establishing Israel as an independent nation. Armies from five neighboring Arab nations immediately attacked the newly created state, marking the beginning of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

to provide or satisfy.


group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.


(1933-1945) attempted genocide of the Jews of Europe, led by Nazi Germany. Also called the Shoah and the Final Solution.


characteristic to or of a specific place.


political unit made of people who share a common territory.


person who flees their home, usually due to natural disaster or political upheaval.


agreement or settlement to a dispute.


political unit in a nation, such as the United States, Mexico, or Australia.

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