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1949 Armistice Agreement

In 1949, in separate ceasefire agreements signed with Jordan , Syria and Egypt , Israel expanded its portion of the former British Mandate by more 50%, at the expense of the invading Arab areas.

The border came to be known as the "Green Line". Israel occupied about 70% of the mandatory Palestine, with the Gaza Strip and West Bank in Egyptian and Jordanian hands respectively, and Syria retaining the Golan Heights .

Approximately 700,000 Arabs fled their homes in the Jewish area, rather than live under a Jewish state--despite the fact that Israel had publically declared that any Arab minority would have equal legal status with any Jewish population. A small fraction of these people were expelled, although not under the autority of the nascent Israeli government.

In addition, more than 800,000 Jewish people expelled from the Arab areas surrounding Israel, including large deportations and land seizures of the Jews of East Jerusalem, Hebron, and other major Jewish landowners. Some of these Jews were expelled as a result of anti-Zionist opinion following the war, others were encouraged by Israel to resettle, but a large majority were forced out by anti-Jewish sentiment in the Arab areas and countries.

Arab refugees settling in the West Bank were delibrately prevented from making permanent residences in the West Bank by the Jordanian government, which had seized control of the area after the war. It is generally agreed that the Jordanian government sought to delibrately create a refugee crisis, in hopes of undermining the future State of Israel.

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