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Declaration of Independence  
 
 
The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel read aloud by Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, when the State was proclaimed on 14 May 1948
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May 14 1948
On Friday, May 14, 1948, at 4 pm - eight hours before the official end of the British Mandate - David Ben-Gurion read out Israel's Declaration of Independence at a moving ceremony which took place at the Tel Aviv Museum. Although only a limited number of people attended the event, it was broadcast live on the radio, and was thus imprinted on the collective memory of the nation.
On Friday, May 14, 1948, at 4 PM - eight hours before the official end of the British Mandate - David Ben-Gurion read out Israel's Declaration of Independence at a moving ceremony which took place at the Tel Aviv Museum. Although the event had been planned with the utmost secrecy and only a limited number of people were invited, it was broadcast live on the radio, and was thus imprinted on the collective memory of the nation. Shortly afterwards, six Arab states attacked the State of Israel. The most critical phase of the War of Independence had begun. The declaration is the founding document of the State of Israel and is regarded as an expression of the nation's vision and the articulation of its central beliefs. As such, it is similar to France's Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, Britain's Magna Carta, and the United States' Declaration of Independence. Because there was no time to spare, the Declaration was read from a mimeographed sheet, and the 37 signatories - members of the Provisional Council of State - signed their names to a blank parchment sheet. The official copy of the Declaration was later inscribed by an artist. It was laid out in the form of a scroll and placed in a silver case. The scroll is composed of three parts. The two upper sections are made of parchment-like paper, while the lower section, containing the signatures, is made of real parchment. The three parts were treated and made to look identical. The Declaration of Independence is kept under special conditions at the Israel State Archives, and is being shown here to the public for the first time in many years.
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National State Archives, A 411
 
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