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In 1947, following increasing levels of violence by militant groups together with unsuccessful efforts to reconcile the Jewish and Arab populations, the British government decided to withdraw from the Palestine Mandate. The UN General Assembly approved the 1947 UN Partition Plan dividing the territory into two states, Jewish and Arab, giving about half the land area to each state. Jerusalem was planned to be an international region administered by the UN to avoid conflict over its status.
Immediately following the adoption of the Partition Plan by the UN General Assembly (on November 29, 1947), the Arab leadership rejected the plan and launched a guerilla war that included attacks on Jewish civilians. The Irgun Tsvai Leumi retaliated with attacks on Arabs, including Arab civilians.
On May 14, 1948, before the expiry of the British Mandate of Palestine at midnight of May 15, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed.
Originally posted by Oscillator
On a side note, I read somewhere that Persia named itself to "Iran" in some kind of plea towards Hitler to come and free them from the British, since Iran means "Arian" or something