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By Yazīd Ṣāyigh, Institute for Palestine Studies (Washington, D.C.)

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Additional resources for Armed struggle and the search for state: the Palestinian national movement, 1949-1993

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They planned to intervene militarily after the end of the British mandate, in order to secure the areas designated by the UN partition plan for the Palestinian state. Egyptian, Jordanian, Iraqi, Syrian, and Lebanese contingents commenced their entry to Palestine on 1 5 May, shortly after the leadership of the yishuv had declared the unilateral independ­ ence of the State of Israel. The Arab military effort was hamstrung by the conflicting agendas of the governments concerned, however, and the Arab forces were pushed back in most sectors.

R comm"""' . uUn Pmy(ICP) ... :>-----t>--<>--j •m·:m ...... eommun... • "(. ___ , I I I I ---- P•it•tlnll n Comm uniM Puty ( PCP) 19bt990 (rtnamed P&kn Wm Ptop lt' t P1ny fn 1991) * This page intentionally left blank I ntroduction A H istorical Framework Roots of Conflict The 1 947-8 war marked the end of a lengthy chapter in the conflict between Arab and Jew for possession of Palestine. Its roots lay in the emergence in the late nineteenth century of the European-based Zionist movement, which was dedicated to the establishment of a Jewish national homeland.

With their national leadership still in exile in Damascus, the Palestinians were in such disarray that they were no longer capable of exerting any real influence on Arab policy, let alone setting up the state called for in the UN resolution. The Arab governments had largely withheld from the conflict so far, limiting their contribution to the formation of a small irregular force under the com­ mand of the League of Arab States. They planned to intervene militarily after the end of the British mandate, in order to secure the areas designated by the UN partition plan for the Palestinian state.

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