The First Truce
(June 11-July 9, 1948)
The first truce was supervised by Count Folke Bernadotte, (the UN mediator for Palestine who had been appointed by the UN General Assembly on May 21), together with teams of UN observers made up of army officers from Belgium, France, Sweden, and the United States. It was to last 28 days, and the observers were to ensure that no side would gain military advantage during this period by purchasing additional weapons. However, both sides succeeded in bypassing the limitations imposed on them by the truce and used the time to improve their positions. The IDF took advantage of this time to reorganize the army, give basic and more rigorous training to its men as materiel arrived from Europe (particularly Czechoslovakia). Towards the end of the truce period, it became clear that the truce would not be extended. At the end of the truce Count Bernadotte presented a plan according to which the Galilee would be given to the Israelis and the Negev to the Arabs, with Jerusalem remaining under UN authority. Both sides rejected this plan, and began to prepare themselves for the inevitable clash that would come on the conclusion of the truce, which ended on Friday 9 July. As this date drew closer, the IDF planned to take the offensive. Hostilities resumed and lasted ten days followed by a second truce.