* 1947: British government hands the problem over the the United Nations. On Nov. 29, the world body votes to divide Palestine into independent Jewish and Arab states. British government announces that it will withdraw from Palestine.
* 1948: Arab-Jewish strife increases during Britain’s gradual pullout. Jewish leaders proclaim the establishment of the State of Israel on ma 14, naming David Ben-Gurion prime minister. The proclamation sparks a 7 1/2 month war as the armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq cross frontiers.
* 1949: Armistice leaves Israel in control of four-fifths of mandatory Palestine. Jordan gets the West Bank and Egypt gets the Gaza Strip. Jerusalem is divided between Israel and Jordan. At least 700,000 Palestinian Arabs become refugees, through either flight or expulsion.
* 1956: Israel invades the Sinai, followed by a British-French attack on the Canal zone. British, French and Israelis forced to withdraw under pressure from U.S. and United Nations. U.N. peacekeeping force established on Egyptian side of the frontier with Israel.
* 1959-62: Creation of Fatah, Palestinian resistance movement.
* 1964: In June, the PLO is formed in Jerusalem. Its charter languages describes the Jewish state as an illegal and racist Zionist entity.