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May 15, 1948 Reactions of Arab States to End of British Mandate

Arabs and Jews Fighting in 1948The message sent by Egypt to the Security Council was typical of all the Arab State announcements.  Signed by the Egyptian Foreign Minister, the Egyptian invasion of Palestine was announced in the following terms:

“The Royal Egyptian government declares now that the British Mandate in Palestine has ended, that Egyptian armed forces have started to enter Palestine to establish security and order in place of chaos and disorder which prevailed and rendered the country at the mercy of Zionist terrorist gangs who persist in attacking peaceful Arab inhabitants.”

The position of the Arab States was also set forth in the message sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations by the Secretary General of the Arab League, Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, now the advisor to the King of Saudi Arabia said:

The recent disturbances in Palestine … constitute a serious and direct threat to peace and security within the territories of the Arab States themselves.  For these reasons and considering that the security of Palestine is a sacred trust for them, and out of anxiousness to check the further deterioration of the prevailing conditions and to prevent the spread of disorder and lawlessness into the neighboring Arab lands, AND IN ORDER TO FILL THE VACUUM CREATED BY THE TERMINATION OF THE MANDATE AND THE FAILURE TO REPLACE IT BY A LEGALLY CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY, THE ARAB GOVERNMENTS FIND THEMSELVES COMPELLED TO INTERVENE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF RESTORING PEACE AND SECURITY AND ESTABLISHING LAW AND ORDER IN PALESTINE.”

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