Israel came out of the 1948–49 war, if not yet self-confident, then at least assuming that her worst trials were over. The armistice agreements expanded her boundaries considerably beyond those set out in the 1947 partition resolution, reflecting the successes of the armed forces. The most substantial gains were Galilee and the western parts of Jerusalem with a land corridor to the coast. The Israel of 1949 was a more coherent state than could ever have come out of the partition plan. Even so, there were problems which cut into the Israelis’ sense of security. Perhaps the most obvious was that these borders were still only provisional; indeed, the armistice agreements had gone out of their way to emphasise this. This reinforced the sense that Israel was still technically at war with most of her neighbours, for no peace agreement was in sight. Israel had to exist in an uneasy state of continual tension, her major settlements on the coastal plain perilously close to Jordanian territory, nine miles at the narrowest point; indeed, the main route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem passed within yards of the border. It was a situation no general would have wanted and one that demanded a permanent state of military preparedness, which was to prove no small burden for the young country.
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