The Ingathering of the Exiles and the emergence of the Palestinian Liberation Organization
On the morning of Friday, May 14, 1948, just three years after the second world war, and one day before the end of the British mandate in Palestine, rumors circulated about the imminent declaration of the Jewish state. Even before the national founder and first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, was able to make the historic announcement, Jews had taken to the streets in celebration singing Hatikvah (the national anthem of Israel). At 4 pm the ceremony began. It took Ben-Gurion 17-minutes to read the entire 664-word Declaration of Establishment of the State of Israel. Four hours later, Egypt bombed Tel Aviv.2
Violence had erupted the previous year when the United Nations partition plan was first announced. The Arabs, knowing the vote would soon pass, delivered on a promise made to the UN to “drench the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood3.” Indeed, several dozen Jews and Arabs were killed within the first two weeks of the UN’s partition announcement. The total from November 1947 to February 1948: 427 Arabs, 381 Jews, and 46 British were killed, and 1,035 Arabs, 725 Jews, and 135 British were wounded

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