Creation of Israel, 1948. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day
First World War
Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the British assumed control of Palestine. In November 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, announcing its intention to facilitate the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over Palestine which included, among other things, provisions calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, facilitating Jewish immigration and encouraging Jewish settlement on the land.
The Arabs were opposed to Jewish immigration to Palestine and stepped up their attacks against the Jews. Following an increase in Arab attacks, the British appointed a royal commission in 1936 to investigate the Palestine situation. The Peel Commission recommended the partition of the country between Arabs and Jews. The Arabs rejected the idea while the Jews accepted the principle of partition.
Second World War
At the end of World War II, the British persisted in their immigration restrictions and Jewish survivors of the Holocaust were violently turned away from the shores of Palestine. The Jewish Agency and the Hagenah continued to smuggle Jews into Palestine. Underground cells of Jews, most notably the Irgun and Lehi, engaged in open warfare against the British and their installations.
The British concluded that they could no longer manage Palestine and handed the issue over to the United Nations. On November 29, 1947, after much debate and discussion, the UN recommended the partition of Palestine into two states ¬ one Jewish and one Arab. The Jews accepted the UN resolution while the Arabs rejected.
Immediately following the declaration of the new state, both superpower leaders, U.S. President Harry S. Truman and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin, recognized the new state. The Arab League members Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq refused to accept the UN partition plan and proclaimed the right of self-determination for the Arabs across the whole Palestine.
On 29 May 1948, the British initiated United Nations Security Council Resolution 50 declaring an arms embargo on the region. Czechoslovakia violated the resolution by supplying Jewish state with critical military hardware. On 11 June, a month-long UN truce was put into effect.