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History of Israel



ere turned away or rounded up and placed in detention camps by the British. In 1947, the British government announced it would withdraw from Mandatory Palestine, stating it was unable to arrive at a solution acceptable to both Arabs and Jews.

On 15 May 1947, the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations resolved that a committee, United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), be created to prepare for consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine. In the Report of the Committee dated 3 September 1947 to the UN General Assembly, the majority of the Committee in Chapter VI proposed a plan to replace the British Mandate with an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem.., the last to be under an International Trusteeship System. On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union as Resolution 181 (II). The Plan attached to the resolution was essentially that proposed by the majority of the Committee in the Report of 3 September 1947.

The Jewish Agency, which was the recognized representative of the Jewish community, accepted the plan, but the Arab League and Arab Higher Committee of Palestine rejected it. On 1 December 1947, the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a three-day strike, and Arab bands began attacking Jewish targets. The Jews were initially on the defensive as civil war broke out, but gradually moved onto the offensive. The Palestinian Arab economy collapsed and 250,000 Palestinian-Arabs fled or were expelled.

On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel". The only reference in the text of the Declaration to the borders of the new state is the use of the term,