In 1947, the UN voted for the partition of Palestine to create independent Jewish and Arab sectors. Jews and Arabs in the region had been at odds for decades; while the Zionist Jews sought an independent state, the native Arabs wanted to stem Jewish immigration and set up a secular Palestinian state. As a result of persecution – notably the Holocaust – Palestine had seen mass illegal Jewish immigration and tensions had mounted. The region had been placed under British mandate at the end of World War I and, in response to the violence and unrest, the British went to the UN and the partition plan created independent Arab and Jewish states with an international regime for Jerusalem. The Jews accepted it, reluctantly, but the Arabs rejected the plan. Six months later, however, Jewish leaders formed the state of Israel. The British left and Arab armies invaded Israel in the first of many disputes that would be fought between the two sides.
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