The United States, under President Harry S. Truman gave official diplomatic
recognition to the new independent Jewish state immediately ( in eleven minutes ), thereby enabling foreign assistance to empower the fledgling Israeli nation to survive in its infancy. The Arab nations surrounding Israel ( Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia ) launched an immediate coordinated five nation military assault upon the tiny new nation, with the intent of annihilating it before it could establish itself. While Israel
managed to survive its 1948 War of Independence, Jordan took sole proprietorship of
the area that has come to be known as the West Bank, including the city of Jerusalem.
Ironically, during the 19 year long occupation and annexation of these areas by Jordan,
there was no movement on the part of the Palestinians to create a second Palestinian
state on the West Bank territory. Apparently, the West Bank Palestinian residents had
no resolve for a new state called Palestine, so long as Israel was not the occupier of
the land. Israel not only managed to survive the Arab invasion, but gained access to
the Western edge of Jerusalem, as shown on the 1949 armistice map. The 1948 War
of Independence resulted in the Jewish and Palestinian refugee problem.
The Arabs not only rejected partition, but attacked Israel from all sides. On the day that Israel declared its independence, the Arab League Secretary, General Azzam Pasha declared "jihad", a holy war. He said, "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades". The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini stated, "I declare a holy war, my Moslem brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!" The armies of lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq invaded the tiny new country with the declared intent of destroying it.
(Click map for large veiw.) The 1948 Israeli War of Independence left Jordan in sole proprietorship of the area which came to be known as the West Bank. During the 19 year long occupation by Jordan, there was never any movement toward the establishment of a second Palestinian State. The resident Palestinians apparently had no resolve to lobby for new state called Palestine, so long as Israel was not the occupier!
During the war For Israel's independence, many Jewish villages were destroyed, synagogues and cemeteries desecrated, and fields and buildings burned. The Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem was beseiged, and kept without food or water, and eventually the Jordanians expelled the Jews from the Old City.
The grey area on the inset marks the Old City. The Jordanians took over East Jerusalem and a large portion of land on the west bank of the Jordan River, thereby narrowing Israel, seen here in blue, to approxirmately nine miles at its narrowest point. Egyptian troops overran the Gaza strip in the west as well as the southern outskirts of Jerusalem. Despite tremendous losses, the new Jewish state survived.
In 1949 Israel signed armistice agreements with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Transjordan, which in April 1949 changed its name to Jordan. One of the major consequences of this was Jordan's annexation of Judea and Samaria. This annexation was not recognized by the international community, with the exception of Britain and Pakistan. This territory became a launching ground for constant terrorist attacks against Israel's civilian population.