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Chronology of the Nakba

Written by  BADIL Staff

 1947

January: London Round Table Conference reopens.
February: British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin proposes variant of Morrison-Grady federal plan at London Conference and to Jewish Agency. Arab delegates and Jewish Agency reject proposal.
Bevin announces British submission of Palestine problem to United Nations.
 

 

March: Arab League blames Britain and US for deteriorating situation in Palestine.
April: UN General Assembly special session on Palestine problem leads to appointment of eleven-member Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). Creation of Supervisor of Arab Property in the Northern District and the Committee for Abandoned Arab Property.
June: Stern Gang claims responsibility for letter bombs addressed to leading British government officials in London.
August: Haganah terrorist attack on Palestinian orange grower’s house near Tel Aviv kills twelve occupants including mother and six children.
September 8: Publication of UNSCOP report. Majority of members recommend partition and minority recommend federal solution.
September 16 - 19: Arab League denounces UNSCOP partition recommendation and appoints Technical Military Committee to supervise Palestinian defense needs.
September 26: British Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones announces Britain’s decision to end Palestine Mandate.
September 29: Arab Higher Committee for Palestine rejects partition.
October 2: Jewish Agency announces acceptance of partition.
October 11: US endorses partition
October 29: Britain says it will leave Palestine in six months if no settlement is reached.
November 27: Technical Military Committee chairman warns of virtual impossibility of overcoming Zionist forces with irregulars; urges prompt Arab action in organizing military forces; advocates training Palestinians to defend themselves.
November 29: UN General Assembly recommends slight variant of UNSCOP partition plan by 33 to 13 votes with 10 abstentions. Arab representatives walk out of assembly.
November 30: Haganah calls up all Jews in Palestine aged 17-25 to register for military service.
December: Haganah launches Plan Gimmel, designed to destabilize Palestinian population and occupy strategic positions in country.
Arab League organizes Arab Liberation Army (ALA), a voluntary force of Arab irregulars under guerrilla leader Fawzi al-Qawuqji to help Palestinians resist partition.
December 2: Palestinians start three-day strike protesting UN partition resolution.
Inter communal clashes result in death of eight Jews and six Palestinians.
December 5: US State Department announces US embargo on arms shipments to Palestine and Arab states.
December 8: Britain recommends to UN that Palestine Mandate be terminated on 15 May 1948 and independent Jewish and Palestinian states be established two weeks later.
December 8 - 17: Arab League declares partition of Palestine illegal; it resolves to provide 10,000 rifles,3,000volunteers(including500Palestinians)andadditional1,000,000pounds.
December 15: British turns policing of Tel Aviv and Petah Tikva over to Jews and that of Jaffa to Palestinians.
December 17: Jewish Agency Executive reports that American Jews will be asked for $250 million to help Jewish community in Palestine.
December 19: Haganah attacks village of Khisas (Safed district) killing ten Palestinians. December 20: Haganah attacks village of Qazaza (Ramleh district).
December 1947 - January 1948: Arab Higher Committee organizes 275 local committees for defense of Palestinian towns and villages.

1948
January: British sells 20 Auster planes to Jewish authorities in Palestine.
Palestinian guerrilla leader ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini secretly returns to Palestine after ten-year exile to organize resistance to partition.
January 8: First contingent of 330 ALA volunteers arrives in Palestine.
January 14: Haganah concludes $12,280,000 arms deal with Czechoslovakia, including 24,500 rifles,5,200machinegunsand54millionroundsofammunition.
January 16: British report to UN estimates 1,974 people killed or injured in Palestine from 30 November 1947 - 10 January 1948.
January 20: British administration announces that predominantly Jewish or Palestinian areas will be gradually handed over to local majority group in every area concerned.
January 21 & 28: Second and third contingents of 360 and 400 ALA irregulars arrive in Palestine. January - March: JNF leaders encourage eviction from villages of Haifa area.
February: Haganah office setup in US under name “Land and Labor” for recruitment of professional military personnel (MAHAL).
February 14: Ben-Gurion issues orders to Haganah commander in Jerusalem for conquest of whole city and its suburbs.
February 18: Haganah calls up men and women aged 25 - 35 for military service.
February 20: Ship Independence arrives at Tel Aviv with 280 volunteers under oath to Haganah on board, implementing policy of illegal immigration of military personnel.
February 24: US delegate to UN says role of Security Council regarding Palestine to keep peace, not enforce partition. Syrian delegate proposes appointment of Committee to explore possibility of Jewish Agency - Arab Higher Committee agreement.
February 27: Jewish Agency announces it will establish state even without backing of an international force.
March: Haganah creates Commission for Arab Property in the villages. Transjordanian prime minister Tawfiq Abual-Huda secretly meets British foreign secretary Bevin. They agree that Transjordanian forces will enter Palestine at end of Mandate but will restrict themselves to area of Arab state outlined in Partition Plan.
March 2: US delegate tells Security Council US favors implementing partition by “peaceful measures” only.
March 5 - 7: Qawuqji enters Palestine and assumes command of ALA units in central Palestine. March 6: Haganah declares general mobilization.
March 10: British House of Commons votes to terminate Mandate on May 15th.
March 19 - 20:
US delegate asks UN Security Council to suspend action on partition plan and to convene General Assembly special session to work on a trusteeship and truce if Jews also accept. Jewish Agency rejects trusteeship.
March 19: Ben-Gurion declares Jewish state dependent not on UN partition decision but on Jewish military preponderance.
March 25: President Truman secretly receives Chaim Weizmann at White House and pledges support for declaration of Jewish state on May 15th.
March 30 - May 15: Second coastal “clearing” operation carried out by Haganah Alexandroni brigade and other units.
Attacks and expulsions drive out almost all Palestinian communities from coastal area from Haifa to Jaffa prior to British withdrawal.
April 1: Ship Nora delivers first consignment of Czecharms in Haifa. UN Security Council resolutions call for a special session of General Assembly and agree to US proposal for truce to be arranged through Jewish Agency and Arab Higher Committee.
April 2: Haganah captures Palestinian village of Castel, west of Jerusalem, expelling its inhabitants. April 5: Palestinian and Zionist leaders object to US proposals presented to Security Council for temporary trusteeship agreement.
Haganah launches Operation Nachshon (first phase of Plan Dalet); Haganah Giv’ati Brigade and other units capture villages along Tel-Aviv - Jerusalem road from local Palestinian militia.
April 8: Haganah starts offensive against Palestinian town of Tiberias.
April 9: ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Husseini, charismatic Palestinian militia commander in Jerusalem district, is killed leading counterattack to recover Castel village.
Irgun and Stern Gang massacre some 120 inhabitants in village of Deir Yassin, western suburb of Jerusalem and three miles from Castel.
April 12: General Zionist Council decides to establish independent Jewish state in Palestine on May 16th.
April 13 - 20: Operation Har’el under Plan Dalet launched at conclusion of Operation Nachshon. Villages along Jerusalem road attacked and demolished.
All subsequent Haganah operations until May 15th undertaken within framework of Plan Dalet.
April 16: British evacuate town of Safed.
April 17: Security Council resolution calls for military and political truce.
Haganah starts offensive against town of Safed.
April 20: US submits Palestine trusteeship plan to UN.
April 21: British suddenly evacuate residential quarters of Haifa.
April 22: Haganah launches Operation Misparayim to attack and occupy Haifa.
Resistance of local Palestinian militia in Haifa collapses.
Haifa’s Palestinian population flees under combined shelling and ground offensives.
April 25 - 31: Launching of Operation Chametz to conquer Jaffa, Haganah attacks suburban villages of Tell Rish, Yazur and Salameh.
April 26: Lauching Operation Yevussi for conquest of whole of Jerusalem; Haganah attacks Palestinian residential quarter of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, cutting off the city from north, but are forced to hand it over to the British. Haganah’s attempt at cutting off Jerusalem from Jericho fails.
April 27: Haganah announces coordination of plans with Irgun.
April 28 - 30: Palestinian ALA unit under Michel Issa succeeds in fighting its way into Jaffa in order to break Haganah siege.
April 30: All Palestinian quarters in West Jerusalem occupied by Haganah and residents driven out.
May: Israel creates Supervisor of Abandoned Arab Property in Jaffa and Arab Properties Department.
May 1: Lebanon and Syria decide to send troops to Palestine at end of Mandate on May 15th.
May 2: Iraq dispatches troops to town of Mafraq, in Transjordan, en route to Palestine after May 15th. Three planeloads of arms for Haganah arrive from France.
May 3: Between 175,000 and 200,000 Palestinian refugees are reported to have fled from areas taken by Zionists.
Jewish colonists from Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem, ambush traffic on road to city.
May 4: Unit of Transjordan Arab Legion, operating in Palestine under British command, shells Gush Etzion in retaliation for ambush. British announces it is studying transitional trusteeship regime for Palestine to take effect at end of Mandate.
May 5: ALA unit under Michel Issa withdraws from Jaffa, ending city’s resistance.
May 10: Haganah enters Jaffa.
May 11 - 12: Haganah captures Safed and surrounding villages.
May 12: State of emergency declared in all Arab countries and able-bodied Palestinian men barred entry to them.
Egyptian parliament decides to send troops to Palestine at end of Mandate.
May 12 - 14: Arrival of second and third Czech arms consignments for Haganah.
May 13: Arab Legion, ALA and local militia attack and capture Jewish settlements of Etzion bloc, retaliating for attacks on Hebron road.
Jaffa formally surrenders to Haganah.
May 14: State of Israel proclaimed in Tel Aviv at 4pm.
Haganah launches Operation Schfifon for capture of Old City of Jerusalem. May 15: British Mandate ends.
Declaration of State of Israel comes into effect.
President Truman recognizes State of Israel. First Egyptian troops cross border into Palestine and attack colonies of Kfar Darom and Nirim in Negev.
Three Transjordanian Arab Legion brigades cross Jordan River into Palestine.
Lebanese troops retake Lebanese villages of Malkiya and Qadas (on Lebanese border), attacked and captured earlier by Haganah.
May 17: Haganah captures Acre.
May 18: Syrian troops retake Palestinian town of Samakh, south of Lake Tiberias, and capture Zionist colonies of Shaar Hagolan and Masada.
Arab Legion units reach Latrun and consolidate blockade of coastal road to Jewish quarters in Jerusalem.
May 19: Haganah breaks into Old City of Jerusalem. Arab Legion comes to the rescue of Old City.
May 20: UN Security Council appoints Count Folke Bernadotte as its mediator in Palestine.
May 22: Security Council resolution calls for cease-fire.
June 11 - July 8: First truce.
June 20: Israel blocks refugee bank accounts.
June 21: Israel passes Abandoned Property Ordinance.
June 24: Israel passes Abandoned Areas Ordinance.
June 28 - 29: Count Bernadotte suggests economic, military and political union of Transjordan and Palestine containing Arab and Jewish states: Negev and central Palestine to go to Arabs, Western Galilee to Jews, Jerusalem to be part of Arab state with administrative autonomy to Jews, Haifa and Jaffa to be free ports and Lydda free airport. Rejected by both sides.
July: Israel creates Ministerial Committee for Abandoned Property.
July 7: Security Council calls for prolongation of truce.
July 15: Security Council resolution calls on governments and authorities concerned to issue indefinite cease-fire orders to their forces in Palestine to take effect within three weeks. Israel creates Custodian of Abandoned Property.
July 18 - October 15: Second truce.
September 16: Report by UN mediator Count Bernadotte proposed new partition of Palestine: Arab state to be annexed to Transjordan and to include Negev, al-Ramla and Lydda; Jewish state in all of Galilee; internationalization of Jerusalem; return or compensation of refugees. Rejected by Arab League and Israel.
September 17: Count Bernadotte murdered in Jerusalem by Stern Gang. Replaced by his American deputy Ralph Bunche.
November 4: UN Security Council resolution calls for withdrawal of forces to positions occupied prior to October 14 and establishment of permanent truce lines.
November 1948 - mid 1949: IDF expels inhabitants from villages 5-15 km inside Lebanese border, followed by expulsions from other Galilee villages.
December 22 - January 6, 1949: Operation Horev launched to drive Egyptians out of southern coastal strip and Negev.
Israeli troops move into Sinai until British pressure forces withdrawal.
December 27: IDF Alexandroni brigade’s attack on isolated Egyptian forces in Faluja pocket is repulsed.

1949
Sources: Walid Khalidi (ed.), All That Remains, Washington DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992; ichael Fischbach, Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

 January 27: Israeli government sells “first million” dunums of refugee land to the Jewish National Fund (JNF)
February 24: Israeli-Egyptian armistice: Egypt keeps coastal strip Gaza-Rafah and evacuates Faluja pocket.
End of February: IDF units intimidate 2-3,000 villagers into leaving Faluja pocket in violation of Israeli-Egyptian Armistice Agreement.
March: IDF Negev and Golani brigades complete occupation of Negev as far as Umm Rashrash/Eilat.
March 23: Israeli-Lebanese Armistice: Frontier of Mandate Palestine accepted; Israel withdraws from most of Lebanese territory.
April 3: Israeli-Jordanian Armistice: Jordan takes over Iraqi-held Nablus-Jenin-Tulkarem triangle but is forced to cede area around Wadi ‘Ara; Israel controls Chadera-Afula road; existing status quo in Jerusalem accepted by IDF and Arab Legion.
July 20: Syrian-Israeli Armistice: demilitarized zones established around ‘En Gev and Dardara (including Mishmar ha-Yarden).
 

BADIL Staff

BADIL Staff

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights is an independent, community-based non-profit organization mandated to defend and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees and IDPs. Our vision, missions, programs and relationships are defined by our Palestinian identity and the principles of international law, in particular international human rights law. We seek to advance the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people on this basis.