Conflict Between Jews and Arabs in Palestine 1947-1948


The conflict between the Jews and Arabs in the Palestine is dated back to the seventh Century A.D. The Arab population was higher than Jews in Palestine. After colonization, the Zionist wanted to form a nation for the Jews in Palestine. The Zionist assumed that the right to land ownership of the Palestine- Arab community was not important. The Arabs therefore, offered opposition due to the fear of the Palestinians losing their homes and their country. This essay therefore seeks to examine the causes and effect of the conflict, the British role in mutual accommodation; Uru partition plan and reactions; and the position of Palestine Arab and Jewish Yishur Leadership.

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The main cause of conflict between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine was essentially a struggle for right to access land and the freedom of the people to reside in Palestine. “The claim is to the land which lies between the Eastern shores of Mediterranean sea and the Jordan River.” The Palestine conflict involved the Jews and Palestine Arabs including Muslims, Druze and Christians. The Jews people wanted to create a homeland for its people and government to protect their citizenship. However, the Arab community fought for absolute control of the land as a resource which they have been utilizing for many hundreds of years.

The Palestine war in 1948 resulted into massive impacts. The Palestine refugee problem started as a result o the war in 1948 over the creating of the state of Israel “The Arabs in Palestine were determined to fight the Jews and wipe them out of Palestine. Contrary they lost the opportunity to create an Arab Palestine state in 1947. Instead what resulted was war and the deaths of thousands of Jews and government greatly exacerbated the Palestine refugee problem.

The Israel community in Palestine also known as the Zionist was able to contain the Arabs. The six day war earned Israel control of the West Bank, the Gaza strip and the old city of Jerusalem. The Arabs who previously lived in these areas were therefore forced to seek refuge from the neighbouring communities. “The Jordan-Palestine committees for the study of the living conditions of the Refugees in the West Bank stated the number of refugees at 94,000 for the East Bank and 357,200 for the West bank, making a total of 451,200 Palestinian Refugees in 1948”. p151 9Ginah & Edward, 2001, p151)

The involvement of the British government played a significant role in creating a mutual coexistence in Palestine. The British government through its representative in 1947 Armistice lines also known as “Green line” was affected by the British government. During this period, the Palestine was under the mandate of British. The population of the Arab community was high compared to the Jews community. To promote peace and harmony in the World, the British divided in mandated land to both Jews and Arabs.

According to British declaration it allowed Israel on 1751 of British mandated Territory. This reinstated the Israel’s proclamation of independence in 1948. “In the midst of Wanton aggression we yet call upon the Arab inhabitant of the state of Israel to return to the ways of peace of role play their part in the development of the state with full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies proglamation in of independence” 14, 5/48

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United Nation responded to the Palestinian Crisis in November 1947 where it formally adopted its partition plan for two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict. This was enshrined in UN resolution 182 which states that “Independent Arab and Jewish state and the special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem… shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the armed forces of the mandatory power has been completed but in and ease not later than 1 October 1948.” (United Nations: (< in (contrary 2005 p, 14). The Jews leaders accepted the plan implementation. However, the Arab leadership unanimously opposed the creation of Israel and rejected the UN plan. They therefore subsequently after month of violence and mounting conflict five Arab armies invaded the new of Israel in May 1948 to eliminate it at birth.

This political challenge form the Arab leaders therefore crippled the success that was envisaged in case the plan was implemented. It also brought the discussion to a dead lock. One of the reasons why the Arabian could not accept the plan by the United Nation is that the leaders of the Arabian movement were not participants in the decision-making procedure.

The leaders for the Jews in Palestine offered a great opposition. Among the Jews in Palestine was an underground army called the Irgum Zvai leumi (IZL) or simply the Irgun. The lrgun wished for liberation from the British rule and the establishment of a Jew state and they say armed struggle as the only way for achievement. The irgun’s leader Menachem Begin, was a very conservative. “Fighting between British soldiers and the Jews underground grew bitter. The British cracked down on the Haganah for their support of blocked running. They hanged some Jewish underground fighters and deported some to a camp in Eriteria. (

The Palestinian and Arab were also fighting back the British. Due to increased burden, the British government planned to lay off the weighty load off their burden. They therefore planned to transfer the responsibility on Palestine to the United Nations. Muslims in Palestine and other Arabs objected to Zionism on the grounds that it was secular and an intrusion of atheism into a land that belongs to Islams. This culture of hatred and warring against one another was the fashion of the day.

The intensity of the difference between the Jews and Arab was manifested when Jordan expelled Jews from the areas it controlled and the Jews were unwilling to withdraw from areas they had gained militarily. To contain future revenge, the Jews were unwilling to allow Arabs who had abandoned their home to return. Out of experience they believed that these refugees would create low great of security risk.


The conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine during the year 1947-1948 could not be avoided since it was caused by need to control the land its governance and need for power. These issues are thorny and weighty. The only way to stop it is to engage the leaders of Jews and Arabs in a meaningful dialogue.

Works Cited

Comay N. Arabs Speak Frankly on the Arab-Israel Conflict: Printing Miracles Ltd. 2005.

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Essays about “Israel-Palestinian conflict”. Web.

Ginat J. and Edward J. Palestine Refugees: Old problem New Solution. Norman University of Oklahoma. 2001.

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