The end of The War of Independence

​The battle for Jerusalem – top of the war effort over homeland and independence

The war of independence began immediately after the UN resolution from November 29, 1917 to divide Palestine into a Jewish and Arab States, with a Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem. For over a year and a half the Yishuv fought hard battles, first against the local Palestinians and since the end of the British mandate and the declaration of independence in May 14, 1948 – against the Arab armies.

The war ended with armistice agreements with most states which attacked Israel: Egypt (02/24/1949); Lebanon (03/23/1949); Jordan (04/03/1949); and Syria (07/20/1949). Iraq, which sent its forces to the war, did not sign any agreement.

A significant part of the campaign over the Jewish state revolved around Jerusalem. The battles over the passage from the coastal plain to Jerusalem were among the hardest in the war, but insured the survival of the lifeline from the coastal plain via the road later called "Kvish Ha'Gvura."

This road originated with the Burma Road, a makeshift bypass road discovered by chance in June 1948, bypassing the original road to Jerusalem controlled from the Latrun area by the Arab Legion. Following the conquest of further territories in the area, the Burma Road was broadened and paved to establish "Kvish Ha'gvura."

Ben Gurion regarded the campaign over Jerusalem as pivotal to the War of Independence, and said on December 7, 1948 at the inauguration ceremony of the new road:

"This road, which we inaugurate today, embodies the summit of our war for a homeland and independence, and the most heroic and tragic campaign since we were forced to stand up against our many enemies – the campaign over Jerusalem.

"This campaign is the essence of Israel's war of independence, waged for over a year now all over the country. It has been conducted not only over Jerusalem and its immediate surroundings, but mostly over the road to Jerusalem. In it, in the fate of this road, depends the destiny of our capital… since the beginning of the War of Independence, when our enemies within the country and without it have risen to destroy us – Jerusalem has been exposed to a mortal danger, and from all the heavy blows suffered by our settlements during the war, Jerusalem took nine measures. The enemy knew that the most fatal blow, and the easiest one, it can impose on us, is the subjugating of Jewish Jerusalem and its destruction… this road is a monument to our heroism in war and Jewish labor – which have and will win."

In December 07, 1948, in the presence of the Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Chief of Staff Jacob Dori and many dignitaries and of those who fought for the road and paved it, "Kvish Hagvura" was inaugurated. 

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