Israel was founded on May 14, 1948, by the head of the Jewish Agency, David Ben-Gurion. It was recognised by U.S. President Harry S. Truman on the same day and by the United Nations in the same month.Continue Reading
Israel faced numerous hurdles throughout its early years as an independent state. On the same day it gained its independence, it was attacked by the armies of Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. However, these attacks were unorganized and were defeated by Israeli army, who were better coordinated.
The newly formed country also had internal problems with local terrorist organizations, many of which had fought on Israel's side during the war. However, these organizations were quickly disbanded by the new Prime Minister and Defense Minister, David Ben-Gurion. The leaders of the terrorist organizations were arrested and the remaining members joined the Israeli army.
The Israeli army swelled to over 100,000 in 1948. Its military victories allowed Israel to expand the initial territory granted to it by the United Nations. However, this was at the expense of the Arab populations who lived in these areas. This act increased tensions between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, culminating in the 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars. In 2014, tensions once again reached a climax, with clashes between Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Israeli army.Learn more about Modern History