For those with curiosity about all the factions involved this book will be helpful. The author states that the detail on the Arabic forces is lacking. The events are covered here in the two volumes The Israeli Army in the Middle East Wars, 1948-1973, and Arab Armies in the Middle East Wars, 1948-1973. Subsequent events are covered in the volume Armies in Lebanon, 1982-84.
The rivalry between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations goes back before WW II with the 1917 Balfour Declaration that a homeland for the Jews would be established in Palestine. This was done in the wake of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire without consulting the Arabic peoples of Palestine.
After much unrest in the 1930s matters came to a head in 1948 after the British left and Israel was proclaimed, the surrounding Arabic states invaded Palestine. The resulting war caused many of the Palestinian Arabs to flee the conflict. The resulting de facto partition resulting from the Israeli victory led to four more major ground wars and ongoing border raids and terrorism.
Their return was not to be allowed, even more tragically, they were kept in refugee camps and not allowed to disperse or assimilate in the rest of the Arab world in a manner similar to that done by the displaced persons who fled Eastern Europe in 1945. Now, several generations on, the desires of the Palestinians to return, destroy the state of Israel, and reclaim the land of their origin, have festered for so long that no rational solution seems in sight. At various times the Israeli's neighbors have backed or opposed or expelled the Palestinian forces in response to their own internal political imperatives. Thus, the Egyptians have signed a peace with Israel, while the rest have not. Syrians, Saudis, and others have continued to offer them refuge and aid while the Kingdom of Jordan expelled them all in "Black September" 1970, an event which led to the raid on the Olympic delegation in 1972.
No matter what side your sympathy lies, hope of peace is still remote, and all concerned victims of this conflict deserve the prayers and good wishes of the world.
The color plates are of the usual high quality and cover
the Lebanese, Jordanian, Egyptian and other local forces.