This page was last updated March 28, 2017     

The Press
Publishing your book with SAP
Contact Us
Title/Author Index
Rights & Permissions
Social Media
Paperback on-Demand

Browse Subject

Art History
Cultural & Social Studies
Economics & Management
Geography, Environment & Migration
Jewish Studies
Latin American Studies
Library Studies
Literary Criticism & Linguistics
Middle East Studies
Politics, Media & IR
Psychology & Psychotherapy
Theatre & Drama
Theology & Religion
Women’s Studies
  Alpha Press
Libraries of Study

Asian & Asian American Studies
Contemporary Spanish Studies
Critical Inventions
Critical Voices
Demographic Developments
First Nations & Colonial Encounter
Latin American Library
Peace Politics in the Middle East
Portuguese-Speaking World
Religious Beliefs & Practices
Spanish History
Spirituality in Education

  You are in: Home > Middle East Studies > Palestine 1948  

Palestine 1948
War, Escape and the Emergence of the Palestinian Refugee Problem

Yoav Gelber

Yoav Gelber is Professor of History at the University of Haifa and Head of the Herzl Institute for Research and Study of Zionism. He is the author of a number of books on Middle East affairs, including: Jewish–Transjordanian Relations, 1921–1948 (Frank Cass, 1997).



Based on new or newly interpreted Israeli, British and Arab documents, this book attempts to integrate present controversies concerning the development of the Jewish–Palestinian war from December 1947 to mid-May 1948 and the consecutive Israeli–Arab war. It follows the organization of both sides at the beginning of the war and the shaping of their respective war policies. Further, it describes the creation of the invading coalition and its disintegration in the wake of the Arab armies’ military failure.

The book stresses mainly the processes that led Palestinian society to its collapse and mass flight and the Israeli reactions and policies that turned this temporary escape into a long-lasting refugee problem. Emphasizing the different historical and cultural perspectives of the adversaries and the context of the war’s development, it criticizes the approach of the Israeli “New Historians” who tend to isolate the refugee problem from the broader issues of the war and treat it separately.

Includes a glossary of Arab/Israeli wartime operations

Foreword by Walter Lacquer
List of Abbreviations


1 The Outbreak and Expansion of Hostilities
2 The Palestinians’ Organization for War
3 The Arab League’s Intervention
4 Shaping the Yishuv’s War Policy
5 The Beginnings of the Palestinians’ Mass-Flight
6 From a Civil War to Regular Warfare
7 Palestinian Society’s Collapse
8 The Arab Regular Armies’ Invasion of Palestine
9 Fighting and Flight after the Invasion
10 The Ten-Day Campaign and the Second Truce
11 The Palestinians’ Decay
12 Diplomacy and Intrigues
13 Operations in the Negev
14 The End of the War with Lebanon and Syria
15 Ending the War with Egypt and Transjordan
16 Welcoming the Refugees in the Arab States
17 From Flight to Refugeeism: Blocking the Return

Appendixes: I History and Invention: Was Plan D a Blueprint for “Ethnic Cleansing?”; II Propaganda as History: What Happened at Deir Yassin?; III Folklore
versus History: The Tantura Blood Libel

Sources and Bibliography

“Recommended for its contribution to a continuing debate over a controversial issue.” Choice

“There have been flashier histories of Israel’s war of independence, and longer ones, but none as well informed, more sensible and more compelling than Gelber’s magisterial account.” Middle East Quarterly

“Yoav Gelber's contribution to the literature on 1948 is useful for its detailed chronology of ‘Israel’s most significant and triumphal’ campaign against the Arabs … The book’s value lies in its shedding light on the loose alliances unfolding in the Middle East.” Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Oxford University Press


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
400 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
November 2000 h/b
December 2005 p/b
  Illustrated:   No
Hardback Price:
£55 / $85.00
Paperback Price:
£25 / $39.95

Order book by phone or online

UK, Europe, Asia and Rest of the World:
Gazelle Book Services

tel. 44 (0)1524-528513


United States, Canada:
International Specialized Book Services

tel.  1-800-944-6190




© 2017 Sussex Academic Press   |   Disclaimer