Eastern Mediterranean 1948: End of Mandatory Palestine
The 1947 United Nations plan to partition Mandatory Palestine was accepted by the Jewish side but rejected by the Arabs, prompting a civil war to break out between the two peoples. The Jews were victorious by the following year, declaring an independent State of Israel to coincide with the British withdrawal.
30 Nov 1947–14 May 1948 Civil war in Mandatory Palestine▲
The Arab refusal to accept the United Nations recommendation to partition the British Mandate of Palestine prompted Jewish communities in Palestine to also withdraw their support, resulting in civil war. The two sides clashed as the British organized their withdrawal. As the mandate expiry date of 15 May 1948 approached, the Jewish Haganah launched a major offensive, capturing Jerusalem and much of northern Palestine.
3–27 Jan 1948 Al-Wathbah uprising▲
Protests broke out in Baghdad in response to the Iraqi monarchy’s plans to renew the 1930 Anglo-Iraqi Treaty, an agreement which had effectively made Iraq a British protectorate. In response to the continued agitation, the king annulled the treaty on 21 January. The protests continued for another week, when police brought them violently to a close at the cost of 300-400 demonstrators.
14 May 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence▲
David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared the establishment of the State of Israel. The declaration became effective upon the termination of the British Mandate over Palestine at midnight.
15 May 1948 End of Mandatory Palestine▲
After evacuating Jerusalem on 14 May, British forces remaining in Palestine, including High Commissioner Alan Cunningham, withdrew via Haifa. On 15 May the Palestine Mandate ended, leaving the country divided between the newly declared State of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.
15 May 1948 Outbreak of Arab-Israeli War▲
Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia—the major states of the Arab League—declared war on the newly declared State of Israel. That same day, the Egyptian, Syrian, Transjordanian, Lebanese, and Iraqi invasion of Israel on behalf of Palestine began.