Hostilities erupted the day following the UN resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, 17 Kislev 5708 (29.11.1947). A few days later, the Arabs began to harass the isolated Jewish settlements of Gush Etzion. The four communities of Gush Etzion found themselves trapped in a ring of hostile Arab villages, with the only road connecting Gush Etzion to the rest of the Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem passing through the region of Al-Hader and Bethlehem. The road was under Arab control for its entire length. According to the Partition Plan, accepted and approved by the Jewish leadership, Gush Etzion was to find itself deep in the Arab State in the making. The Kibbutz members, after consulting with the national leadership, decided to stay put where they where, fortifying and strengthening the settlements, although their future was unknown.
Events in historical sequence: