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The Six Day War 1967 - History

The Six Day War 1967 - History

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As the Arabs massed to attack, Israel successfully preempted their strikes. During six miraculous days in June of 1967, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the eastern segment of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The Egyptians were falsely told that Israel was planning to attack Syria. In a reaction, they moved their forces into the Sinai. Once in Sinai, they asked the UN to remove its forces and closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, thus cutting off the port of Eilat. Israel was forced to mobilize its reserve forces that made up the majority of its armed forces. The United States tried to muster an international flotilla to break the blockade. When it became clear that The United States would be unable to break the Egyptian blockade, the Israeli government voted to launch a surprise attack on the Egyptians before they could attack

June 5th
The Israeli Air Force had been preparing for an attack on Egyptian bases for several years. First thing in the morning of June 5th, almost all of Israel's Air Force was airborne 250 planes. The slower Oregon bombers and Mystere's fighters left first, with the faster Mirages going last. .All were heading to Egyptians Airbases and scheduled to arrive at the same time. At 7:30 am while Egyptian pilots were having breakfast, the Israeli planes arrived at their targets. The aircraft first dropped large bombs on both ends, and the middle of the runways of the Egyptian Israeli planes began attacking Egyptian airfields. They started by disabling the runways by creating craters at both ends in the middle of each runway. Then with the planes all trapped, they strafed. By 8:00 am, it was clear that the attack had succeeded beyond the hopes of its planners. The pilots returned to their bases, and in a matter of minutes, the planes were refueled and rearmed for a second strike. After the second wave of attacks, 286 Egyptian planes were destroyed, and all of the Egyptian airfields were out of Commission. It was the most successful air attack in history. When word reached the army headquarters of success, the orders were given to the ground troops to begin the attack.

An Israeli armored brigade in the North smashed through the Egyptian lines in the North of Sinia. After a day of heavy fighting, Israeli troops, By evening, had reached all of their goals well ahead of time. In the South division led by Ariel, Sharon had similar success penetrating Egyptian defenses and thrusting deep into Sinai.

Israel had hoped that Jordan would stay out of the fight. The Jordanians, unaware of Israel's success in the air let they had no choice but to support the Egyptians. They began heavily shelling the outskirts of Tel Aviv, the Israeli Air Force Base at Ramat Aviv in the North. They also began all-out shelling of West Jerusalem, where 6,000 shells landed. Over 1,000 civilians were wounded, and 20 died. The Jordanian Air Force also attacked targets in Israel. Israel had refrained from attacking Jordanian Air Force bases but responded to the Jordanian attack by wiping out the Jordanian Air Force. Israel also attacked the Iraqi and Syrian Air Force. The Jordanians then captured Government House, which commanded the high ground over Jerusalem. This and Jordanian threat to capture Mount Scopus convinced the Israelis that there was no choice but to begin an offensive against The Jordanian Army. By nightfall of June 5th, Israeli troops had advanced to cut off Jerusalem from Ramallah, just foiling an attack on Mt Scopus while other troops were advancing on Jenin.

June 6th
While the Israeli Army had been very successful during the first day of the war in eliminating the first line of Egyptian defenses, the Egyptians still had a large army largely intact in the Sinai. The Israeli Army had anticipated a challenging day of fighting. However, for reasons that are disputed to this day, the order went out to Egyptian forces to retreat toward the canal. That retreat turned the day into a total route as Israeli forces swiftly advanced with limited opposition.

ON the Jordanian front, Israel made one last plea to Hussein to stop shelling, which he ignored. The order then went out to capture Jenin on the West Bank and surround the Old City. A paratroop brigade who was slated to join the fight against the Egyptians moved to Jerusalem overnight. At 2 am the assault began: the goal to reach Mt Scopus. A battle took place first to capture the Police Academy and then Ammunition Hill. The battle for Ammunition Hill went on for three hours and was the bloodiest battle of the war. 71 Jordanians and 35 Israelis died.
By the end of the day, the Old City was almost surrounded.

June 7th
In the early hours of the morning of June 7th, the Israeli government debated whether to capture the Old City. The Army first completed the surrounding to the Old City by capturing the Mt of Olives. When the Jordanians could not guarantee a complete ceasefire, the order was given to capture the Old City. At 9:45, Israeli tanks fired at the Lions Gate, opening the way for troops to move in. They quickly fanned out, capturing the Temple Mount. The commander of the Israeli Paratrooper Motta Gur radioed the commander of the central Front General Uzi Narkiss- Har Habayit Beydaeni- The Temple Mount is in our hands. Shortly after, the first Israeli troops led by the chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren reached the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, where Jews had not been able to access for 19 years.

In the Sinai, Israeli troops continued to advance. In the North, they came close to the Suez Canal, and in the South reached the Mital Pass and reached the Sharm el Sheik and thus opened up the Straits of Tiran.

June 8th
On June 8th, Israeli forces completed their conquest of the West Bank, reaching the Jordan River and blowing up the bridges over it. In Sinai, the Egyptian Army continued its retreat, but the Israeli forces were waiting for them, blocking the Passes. In several hours they killed thousands of Egyptians and destroyed hundreds of vehicles. They captured so many prisoners that eventually, the word was given only to hold officers and let everyone else go. Although not planned, Israeli forces reached the Suez Canal on the fourth day of the war.
June 9 and 10th
Throughout the war, the Syrians had shelled Israeli settlements, and arguments had ensued about what to do about the Syrians. Defense Minister Dayan had opposed an attack, but on the morning of June 9th, he changed his mind and ordered an assault on the Golan Heights. The assault began immediately and was completed by mid-day on June 10th when a ceasefire went into effect.

In Six-Day, the Israeli Army had defeated enemies on three fronts and more than tripled the size of the country. 679 Israel lost their lives, and 2563 were wounded, some who would later die of their wounds

The Current Conflict and Its Relation to the Six Day War

Today, there is a familiar scenario in the Middle East, as a Palestinian terror organization run by Yasir Arafat, Fatah, carries out operations against Israel. Fatah's short-term goal is to cause as many Israeli casualties as possible, with a more long-term vision that includes causing instability in the Arab world and exacerbating regional conflict in which Arab countries war against Israel.

A similar situation characterized the three-week period prior to the June 1967 war. Arafat knew Israeli retaliations would trigger unrest in Arab regimes. At that time, many supported Arafat (especially the Syrians), while others held emergency summit meetings but stopped short of calling for war. Israelis were in an economic crisis indeed, unemployment and economic stagnation were virtually identical to the current circumstances.

Before the 1967 war, politicians worked together by forming a national-unity government, one of the only two formal unity governments in Israel's history (the other being the current government). Israeli raids into the West Bank and Gaza exacerbated Israel's deepening international isolation. The United Nations was condemning Israel. America was too busy with the Cold War and Vietnam to do much in the way of helping Israel.

Nasser Mobilizes Troops

Israeli gun boat passes through the Straits of Tiran near Sharm El Sheikh, June 8, 1967. (Yaacov Agar/Israel GPO)

In the spring of 1967 it seemed as though that moment had come. In three weeks and by five impres­sive initiatives, Nasser managed to embroil the entire Middle East in a major war. First, Egyptian forces in the Sinai were considerably rein­forced, under the pretext of com­ing to Syria&rsquos assistance. Then Nas­ser demanded the evacuation of U.N. forces from Sinai and the Gaza Strip, and U Thant, the U.N. Secretary General, immediately acceded to his request. On May 20, Egyptian forces occupied Sharm el‑Sheikh, closing the Straits of Tiran two days later. While Egyp­tian propaganda was proclaiming the imminent and inevitable des­truction of Israel, the massive reinforcements of troops along the borders with Israel brought the numbers of Egyptian soldiers to 100,000 and tanks to 900. Once again, after ten years, Israel was directly confronted by Egyptian forces along the frontier. Finally, Nasser orchestrated a great Arab alliance: in addition to the Egyptian‑Syrian military agreement of November 1966, he now signed pacts with Jordan (May 30) and Iraq (June 4). Contingents arrived from other Arab countries, such as Kuwait and Algeria.

Causes of the Six Day War

The causes of the six day war (also called the 1967 war) between Israel and its Arab neighbors are important to understanding Arab-Israeli relations today.

When Israeli nationalists declared the state of Israel in former British Palestine in 1948, surrounding nations argued that it was established illegally. They refused to acknowledge it. This state of tension resulted in open conflict in 1967.

Background to the Six Day War

When Jewish leaders created Israel in 1948, it bordered four Arab nations: Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Israel’s creation outraged Arab citizens, who sympathized with the hundreds of thousands of Arab Christians and Muslims who lost their homes, livelihoods and hopes for political self-determination. They regarded Israel as a European colonial power.

Meanwhile, Israeli citizens felt betrayed by the European colonial powers, who had failed to prevent the Holocaust. Israelis feared that the Jewish people would not survive without the military strength to defend themselves. The new nation had a strong military to defend itself against its Arab neighbors.

In 1956, this distrust broke out in the Suez Crisis, which ended with a stalemate between Egypt and Israel. The United Nations sent a peace-keeping force at the request of Egypt’s President Nasser, to protect the Sinai from another Israeli invasion. Egypt reserved the right to ask this United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to leave the Sinai at any time.

The Samu Incident

Arab-Israeli tension was rising in the years just prior to 1967. In 1964 and 1965, Arab presidents and kings met in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss possible military action against Israel. In 1966, a military government came to power in Syria, Israel’s neighbor to the northeast. President Nasser of Egypt, on Israel’s southern border, signed a treaty with Syria agreeing to send military aid if Israel attacked. Israeli leaders regarded these events with suspicion and began preparations for possible war.

In 1965, a group of Palestinian Arabs formed the guerilla military group Fatah, to challenge Israeli control of Palestine. Fatah’s clandestine attacks on Israel led to a serious crisis called the Samu incident.

The Samu incident began on Nov. 11, 1966, when an Israeli patrol close to the Jordanian border encountered a Fatah-planted landmine that killed three soldiers. Israeli leadership responded to the Fatah attack with a rapid, small-scale military incursion into Jordan’s West Bank on Nov. 13. Approximately 600 IDF troops and a dozen tanks crossed the border to the town of Samu, where they dynamited a few dozen houses and public buildings (estimates of the damage vary widely).

Israeli leadership’s rationale for the attack was that Samu’s villagers would demand that Jordan’s King Hussein take action against Fatah to protect Palestinian civilians from further Israeli retaliation. Angry Palestinian citizens of Jordan did criticize King Hussein heavily for failing to protect them. However, their anger led them to support Fatah’s attacks rather than oppose them.

The Samu incident caused great anti-Israeli anger in the Arab media. It also stalled the secret normalization negotiations taking place between Jordan and Israel. It is thus one of the key incidents leading toward the six day war.

Immediate Triggers for the Six Day War

In April 1967, Palestinian guerillas based in Syria launched several rocket attacks on northern Israeli outposts. In addition, a dispute over farming rights along the Syrian border resulted in a number of Israeli-Syrian skirmishes on land and in the air. In April, Israel mobilized 70,000 reserve troops, suggesting it anticipated war. In fact, Israel’s opposition party was pushing Israeli leadership to take action against Syria.

In May 1967, Nasser of Egypt took three significant actions that would lead Israel to make a “preemptive strike.” First, he requested that the UNEF withdraw from the Sinai. The UN complied, as they had no right to remain on Egyptian soil without Egyptian permission.

Nasser then stationed Egyptian troops in the Sinai and blockaded the Straits of Tiran, which gave Israel access to Red Sea shipping lanes. Lastly, on May 30, Nasser signed a military agreement with Jordan. Jordan’s unofficial détente with Israel was over.

Within Israel, public opinion feared the nation was in danger of Arab conquest. However, historical documents show that Israel’s government, led by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Defense Minister General Moshe Dayan, thought in terms of Israel’s long-term foreign policy as they debated their next move.

On June 5, Israel launched an assault on Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

Debates about the Causes of the Six Day War

Some historians argue that the Arab military alliances of 1967 made it imperative for Israel to take pre-emptive military action. They posit that the blockade of the Straits of Tiran was a belligerent act requiring a belligerent response.

Other historians disagree. They argue that Egypt, Syria and Jordan mobilized their armed forces in response to Israeli mobilization and that they did not intend to provoke a war for which they were poorly prepared.

What is undeniable is that both sides wanted to make a show of strength. Their maneuvering resulted in a war with long-term consequences for everyone involved.

The Six Day War

The Six Day War (5-10 June 1967) is considered to be one of the shortest wars in the world history. The formal occasion of the war was the overlap of Straits of Tiran by Egypt. However, the causes of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors were much deeper. The conflict between Egypt and Israel has been arising long before the events of June 1967. This period of time was a turning point in Israel’s history.

According to The Six Day War: &ldquoThe main cause of the Six Day War was a dramatic increase in tension between Israel and its Arab neighbors during the mid-1960s&rdquo. In the late 60’s confrontation in the East &ndash West, after the relative stability in Europe, spread to the Middle East. USSR strengthened political and military support of radical &ldquoanti-imperialist&rdquo regimes of Arab countries. The USA bet on Israel and the so-called moderate Arab regimes. Both superpowers were interested in a guaranteed and stable channel for sales of weapons, and the Middle East took the role of such channel.

One of the perpetrators of war in the Middle East was Israel, which declared the goal of creating of “Greater Israel” that had to include the territory of several Arab countries. Israel has received modern weapons from the United Kingdom, France and Germany, and since 1962 created its own military industry with the United States.

The Arab countries were against the existence of Israel and, that is why, they were in an uncompromising position. USSR urged Arab countries to create a common front against Israel. Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Algeria had to become the core of the front.

Arab countries have taken appropriate action. Earlier, in November 1966, Syria signed a pact with Egypt about mutual defense. In late May and early June 1967, a similar agreement was signed with Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. The governments of Algeria, Kuwait, Yemen, Libya and Sudan were ready to help in case of Israeli aggression.

Within five days, troops of UN left Egypt, and their positions were occupied by Egyptian armed forces. May 22, the closure of the Gulf of Aqaba for Israeli and other vehicles that delivered strategic goods to Israel was announced by the President of Egypt &ndash Gamal Abdel Nasser. This action seriously impressed the interests of Israel, taking into consideration the fact that Israel received 80 % of its oil imports and other vital products by sea.

Withdrawal of UN troops from Sinai and the temporary closure of the Gulf of Aqaba, and the chain of hostile action of the Arab countries were the basis of the beginning of the war.

The Israeli Government did not wait for direct military actions by the Arabs and were the first who attacked the enemy. June 5, 1967, the Israeli air forces caused serious damage to the aircraft. They destroyed all military aircraft of Egypt and Syria. At the application of the Prime Minister of Israel, representatives of the United Nations appealed to the king of Jordan requesting not to enter the war and were refused.

The full-scale hostilities began. Loss of the air forces dealt Nasser a big blow to self-esteem. Israeli intelligence services failed to record a conversation between Nasser and King Hussein, in which they discussed what to tell the public about the fact that, in hostilities, despite the Israeli aircrafts involved, American and British aircrafts were participants of the war, as well. After this statement, all the Arab countries broke off diplomatic relations with the United States. A week later, King Hussein apologized for lying. This was probably due to the fact that the record of conversation was published.

Israeli troops acted swiftly. Israeli fighter bombed air bases of Egypt and Syria, having eliminated almost all the military aircrafts in these countries. Then the Israeli army attacked and occupied the key strategic areas – the Sinai Peninsula in the south, the Golan Heights in the north, and the West Bank of the Jordan River in the east. Despite the adoption of resolutions by UN Security Council on 6-7 June about immediate cease-fire, the Israeli army continued fighting. The Soviet Union demanded that Israel immediately cease hostilities and withdraw the forces behind the line of truce. June 10, the Soviet Government informed the Israeli Government that, in case of continued fighting, the Soviet Union together with other peace-loving countries will take the necessary measures to stop aggression.

June 10, the Soviet Union broke off diplomatic relations with Israel, having lost the channel of cooperation with one of the parties of the conflict. In the evening of June 10, the fighting was stopped.

The Six-Day War took the lives of 679 Jews. The losses were enormous for a small country. However, the whole Jewish world rejoiced.

In quantitative terms, Arab Union troops greatly outnumbered Israeli forces. Arab armies also did not concede the Israeli troops in terms of equipment. Syrian and Egyptian naval forces largely outnumbered the Israeli Navy, both in quantitative and qualitative terms.

However, the general level of combat training of the Israeli armed forces seriously outnumbered the Arab forces. Combat capability of all major armed forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, and especially the Air Force and Air Defense, was low. In addition, it should be noted the psychological aspect of the Arab armies &ndash their low combat stability, carelessness, lack of initiative.

There were marked new boundaries that have increased Israeli territory. According to The Six-Day War: Background & Overview: &ldquoBy the end of the war, Israel had conquered enough territory to more than triple the size of the area it controlled, from 8,000 to 26,000 square miles. The victory enabled Israel to unify Jerusalem&rdquo. Despite the tremendous victory, Israel’s main task was to establish peace. Country was ready to recover some conquered territories in exchange for signing a peace agreement that would end the war quickly.

However, the Arab countries did not agree with it and the relationship between the two countries only worsened. A few months later the heads of the Arab countries met and declared a categorical &ldquono&rdquo to Jewish World. The refusal to recognize their state was declared, as well.

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The Six-Day War has affected not only the lives of the Jewish state, but also the representatives of the people living in other countries. The heroism and courage of the soldiers manifested during the war filled the hearts of all Jewish people with pride and joy. American Jews sent huge amounts of money before, during and after the war to support the army and civilians. The citizens of different countries began to join the ranks of members of the Jewish organization “United Jewish Appeal”. There was, especially, increased number of young members. The descendants of Jews, who have already forgotten their roots, are increasingly coming to Israel.

The Six Day War was determined by the contours of the modern Middle East. Syria lost the Golan Heights, Jerusalem was declared as the undivided and united capital of Israel. The Palestinian territories were under the jurisdiction of Egypt and Jordan by June 1967. Accession of these lands to Israel subsequently led to the formation of the Palestinian Authority in its current form.

Despite all the attempts of the community, the Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the main conflicts of the Middle East, which continues to threaten peace and stability in the region.

V. Final Remarks and Reactions

Finally, in response to some of the remarks of my fellow panelists, I offer a few notes.

First, it is important to remember that Arab enmity toward Israel predated the 1967 War, so the outcome cannot be solely blamed for the enmity that would follow. Israel could not impose peace and its Arab antagonists could not impose a military victory. Israeli control of the West Bank witnessed an upsurge in terror and human hardship on all sides, including the misery of occupation. If victory brought peril, there is little doubt what defeat would have wrought. If Israel would have lost the 1967 war, its existence would likely be imperiled, and certainly the subsequent diplomatic consequences that would have ensued would have been very grave.

Second, in general, contrary to Mr. Khatib's assertion, everything we know about the run up to the war suggests that Eshkol sought to avoid conflict with Jordan. As Tom Segev cites Eban's autobiography. "I have never had reason to regret the effort that Eshkol and I made to prevent war with Jordan."

Third, I would like to make one final observation about something Mr. Khatib said. He said Israel sought an Egyptian provocation in order to launch the 1967 War while at different parts of his paper, he observes, "this war demonstrated the historical crucial role single statesman play in crisis management and war avoidance." He continued, asserting that "Had a strong UN Secretary General existed and played his role, had decision making in the Egyptian leadership not been so confused, this war could have been avoided to the relief and benefit of nearly everyone."

Every single disclassified Israeli document -- and Israel's declassification policy is no less liberal than that of the US -- shows that war with Egypt was the last thing that Israel wanted. Moreover, to suggest that Egypt's closing the Straits of Tiran to Israel was a "minor infraction" seems very misplaced, given the commitment made after Suez and critically that Israel relied on the Straits for its lifeblood, almost it oil supplies.

To suggest that Israel was looking to pick a fight with Egypt is not only not supported by the facts, but it ignores the sense of existential dread that overtook Israeli society at the time. Notwithstanding Meir Amit's private upbeat assessment Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara before the outbreak of the war, Prime Minister's Eshkol's generals were telling him that the prime minister's hesitation meant he was playing with Israel's very existence. In the run-up to the war, the government dug 14,000 mass graves in Tel Aviv Yarkon Park. Israel was so isolated before the 1967 war that it could not even get the US to make a public endorsement for the right of self-defense for a country at its population and industrial center had a geographic width equal to the length of Manhattan, while Egypt was reaching military pacts with Jordan and Syria, and was reaching understandings for auxillary assistance from other Arab states. This was a regional context. Arab leaders, whose countries went to war the day Israel was born, routinely made public declarations for Israel's destruction. This was the context for the dread on the societal level.

Fourth and finally, regarding Ms. Tassin's appraisal of Palestinians actions in the 1970s, it may also be worth asking if whatever the headlines value in the international media, such operations, such as hijacking airlines and massacres of Israeli civilians in Maalot, Kiryat Shmona and Coastal Road, and later to be followed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad postponed, rather than hastened the prospect of a two state solution for the good of both peoples. I think it is clear that the former was the case.

Taken together, it is indeed hard to recall whether any other short war in modern history had such profound regional and international consequences. Indeed, we are still living the seventh day of the Six-Day War.

Israel had completed its final offensive in the Golan Heights, and a ceasefire was signed the day after. Israel had seized the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River (including East Jerusalem), and the Golan Heights. Overall, Israel's territory grew by a factor of three, including about one million Arabs placed under Israel's direct control in the newly captured territories. Israel's strategic depth grew to at least 300 kilometers in the south, 60 kilometers in the east and 20 kilometers of extremely rugged terrain in the north, a security asset that would prove useful in the Yom Kippur War six years later.

The political importance of the 1967 Six Day War was immense Israel demonstrated that it was not only able, but also willing, to initiate strategic strikes that could change the regional balance. Egypt and Syria learned tactical lessons and would launch an attack in 1973 in an attempt to reclaim their lost territory.

Speaking three weeks after the war ended, as he accepted an honorary degree from Hebrew University, Yitzhak Rabin gave his reasoning behind the success of Israel:

Our airmen, who struck the enemies' planes so accurately that no one in the world understands how it was done and people seek technological explanations or secret weapons our armored troops who beat the enemy even when their equipment was inferior to his our soldiers in all other branches. who overcame our enemies everywhere, despite the latter's superior numbers and fortifications-all these revealed not only coolness and courage in the battle but. an understanding that only their personal stand against the greatest dangers would achieve victory for their country and for their families, and that if victory was not theirs the alternative was annihilation.

In recognition of contributions, Rabin was given the honor of naming the war for the Israelis. From the suggestions proposed, he "chose the least ostentatious, the Six-Day War, evoking the days of creation."

Dayan's final report on the war to the Israeli general staff listed several shortcomings in Israel's actions, including misinterpretation of Nasser's intentions, overdependence on the United States, and reluctance to act when Egypt closed the Straits. He also credited several factors for Israel's success: Egypt did not appreciate the advantage of striking first and their adversaries did not accurately gauge Israel's strength and its willingness to use it.

After the 1973 Arab-Israeli War , Egypt reviewed the causes of its loss of the 1967 war. Issues that were identified included "the individualistic bureaucratic leadership" "promotions on the basis of loyalty, not expertise, and the army's fear of telling Nasser the truth" lack of intelligence and better Israeli weapons, command, organization, and will to fight.

According to Chaim Herzog:

On June 19, 1967, the National Unity Government [of Israel] voted unanimously to return the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for peace agreements. The Golans would have to be demilitarized and special arrangement would be negotiated for the Straits of Tiran. The government also resolved to open negotiations with King Hussein of Jordan regarding the Eastern border.

The Israeli decision was to be conveyed to the Arab nations by the United States. The US was informed of the decision, but not that it was to transmit it. There is no evidence of receipt from Egypt or Syria, and some historians claim that they may have never received the offer.

In September, the Khartoum Arab Summit resolved that there would be "no peace, no recognition and no negotiation with Israel." However, as Avraham Sela notes, the Khartoum conference effectively marked a shift in the perception of the conflict by the Arab states away from one centered on the question of Israel's legitimacy toward one focusing on territories and boundaries and this was underpinned on November 22 when Egypt and Jordan accepted United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 .

The June 19 Israeli cabinet decision did not include the Gaza Strip, and left open the possibility of Israel permanently acquiring parts of the West Bank. On June 25󈞇, Israel incorporated East Jerusalem together with areas of the West Bank to the north and south into Jerusalem's new municipal boundaries.

Yet another aspect of the war touches on the population of the captured territories: of about one million Palestinians in the West Bank, 300,000 (according to the United States Department of State) fled to Jordan, where they contributed to the growing unrest. The other 600,000 remained. In the Golan Heights, an estimated 80,000 Syrians fled. [ 175 ] Only the inhabitants of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights became entitled to receive full Israeli citizenship, as Israel applied its law, administration and jurisdiction to these territories in 1967 and 1981 respectively, and the vast majority in both territories declined to do so. See also Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Golan Heights. Both Jordan and Egypt eventually withdrew their claims to the West Bank and Gaza (the Sinai was returned on the basis of Camp David Accords of 1978 and the question of the Golan Heights is still being negotiated with Syria). After Israeli conquest of these newly acquired 'territories,' a large settlement effort was launched to secure Israel's permanent foothold. There are now hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in these territories, though the Israeli settlements in Gaza were evacuated and destroyed in August 2005 as a part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan.

The 1967 War also laid the foundation for future discord in the region - as on November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 242 , the "land for peace" formula, which called for Israeli withdrawal "from territories occupied" in 1967 and "the termination of all claims or states of belligerency."

Resolution 242 recognized the right of "every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt in 1978, after the Camp David Accords, and disengaged from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005, though its army frequently re-enters Gaza for military operations and still retains control of border crossings, seaports and airports.

The aftermath of the war is also of religious significance. Under Jordanian rule , Jews were effectively barred from visiting the Western Wall (even though Article VIII of the 1949 Armistice Agreement demanded Israeli Jewish access to the Western Wall). Jewish holy sites were not maintained, and their cemeteries had been desecrated. After the annexation to Israel, each religious group was granted administration over its holy sites. Despite the Temple Mount's importance in Jewish tradition, the al-Aqsa Mosque is under sole administration of a Muslim Waqf, and Jews are barred from conducting services there.

Six Day War of 1967

Today, it is hard to recapture the feelings that were present before the Six Day War. AT that time, all over the world, people knew that Arab’s are trying to push Israel in the sea. Their apprehensions of dread continued rising as the war drew closer and closer. However, in contrast, confidence and strength radiated from the Rebbe. Shortly after the war was over, a state delegation traveled to Washington from Jerusalem and told the Americans that in exchange for peace, Israel was ready to give the land conquered during the war back to the Arabs. In the beginning, the Americans were amazed and unable to believe what they had heard. However, the Israelis communicated the messages when the repeated their promises. Flabbergasted, the Arabs had never imagined the Israeli government would return the territories they had conquered during the war. Regardless, the Americans were able to assure them that Israel would indeed keep their promise.

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Why did the Arabs turn down the offer? Simply due to the fact that the Arabs weren’t contemplating the thought of giving even lip service to the idea of peace between the two countries. Their hatred towards the Israelis was so powerful that they weren’t able to make a public statement about ending their aggressive behavior towards Israel. A diplomatic campaign demanding that the land Israel had conquered during the war be returned was launched by the Arabs from that moment on. The Arabs would have never thought of making such a demand if the Israel had not made the offer in the first place. A pattern similar to this one is seen in regards to those Arabs living in the West Bank. Immediately after the war, numerous Arabs felt the need to flee to other Arab countries. A greater number of Arabs would have gladly done so as well if it weren’t for their lack of financial assets. The other Arab countries would have gladly accepted them during that period in time as well. They would not have had any choice. Still, the Israeli leaders prevented the Arabs from leaving by closing down the borders.

The Israeli government explained that, at the time, they were trying to get the Arabs to stay because they wanted to show the world a great example of coexistence between different nations. That proved to be rather shortsighted. All of the Intifada, the demographic problems along with the sensitive issues that the population of Arabs in the West Bank wouldn’t have risen if the Arabs would have been allowed to leave. The magnitude of these conflicts would have lessened if a significant decrease in the Arab population had occurred (Schindler, 2008).

Aftermath of Six Day War

Numerous long-term implications were left on the region as the aftermath of the Six Day War. The refugee problem was exacerbated due to Jordan’s decision to take part in the fighting because a number of West Bank residents crossed the Jordan River to the “East Bank”.

Over the next two decades, some of the people that moved over to the East Bank were able to come back to the Israeli-controlled West Bank and witness exceptional growth over the course of the next 20 years. “Israeli investment into the infrastructure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, coupled with policies that allowed Arabs to move freely increased the standard of living of Palestinians, who were now able to work both in Israel and in the oil-rich countries in the Middle East” (Schindler, 2008).

Due to the war, Jewish-Christian relations in the United States had distorted as a number of Jewish leaders blamed the Christian institutions for not speaking out against enmity the Arabs had towards the Israelis in the weeks before the war began. Christian publications had previously held Arab responsible for the war however, by 1968, Christian activists and commentators started to change their previous opinion of the Arab-Israeli conflict to one of Arab’s innocence.

The 1967 War had immense political importance Israel displayed that Israel was able and willing to commence strategic strikes that could possibly change the regional balance. In an attempt to regain the territory they had lost, Egypt along with Syria learned tactical skills and launched an attack in 1973.

Egypt analyzed the causes for its loss in the war in 1967 after the Arab-Israeli War in 1973. Issues such as “promotions on the basis of loyalty rather than expertise, and the army’s fear of telling Nasser the truth”, “the lack of intelligence as well as weapons, organization, command and the will to fight” and “the individualist bureaucratic leadership” were amongst the issues that were identified.

The Six-Day War: Day-by-Day Action Review

At 7:15, the call was sounded: The IAF Commander, Major General Motti Hod, announced the beginning of Operation Focus. IAF aerially attacked the Egyptian Air Force, attacking plane after plane eventually destroying the Suchi, Mig, Alishon and Tupolg aircrafts. The Egyptian Air Force runway was severely destroyed as well. The IAF attack resulted in the destruction of 197 Egyptian aircrafts and 11 airports, in a manner of minutes. Six airports and eight radar stations were taken out of action as well. At 09:34, a second wave of attacks began in which 107 grounded Egyptian planes were bombed. At 15:00 hours, after Israel was already awash with rumors of the Egyptian Air Force defeat, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan called for a press conference. He warned the press not to publish the amount of Arabic planes Israel destroyed, which numbered over 400 hundred. At 02:00 hours, the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Yitzchak Rabin broadcasted from nationwide radio: 400 enemy planes were destroyed. Major General Hod broadcasted that the IAF had lost 19 pilots. The following day the GOC Central Command issued a combat pamphlet amongst the soldiers stating, "Never have so few pilots downed so many planes in such a short period of time."

That same day, at 08:15 in the morning, the GOC Southern Command, Major General Yeshiahu Gabish, briefed the three division commanders of the southern front on the long awaited code words, "Red Sheet". The Armor unit folded their camouflage netting and began their advance westward, to Sinai. The northern division, the primary base of the 7 th armored brigade and the paratrooper brigade under command of Major General Yisrael Tal, conquered Rafah and then advanced to El-Arish. The aerial control allowed the armor ground troops to advance without hesitation. "We do not covet their land or possessions. We did not come here to destroy their land or take over their territory," said Major General Tal, Commander of the "Plada" Formation. "Today, the Sinai Desert will recognize the force of the Plada Formation. The ground will shake beneath our feet."

In the early hours of the night, the division under the command of Major General Ariel Sharon attacked Um Tekef, an area considered the most vital fortified area of the Egyptian arsenal in the Sinai Desert. The three divisions under Major General Avraham Yaffo's command breached Bir Lachfan. The three divisions now had successfully achieved the missions they were charged with.

The King of Jordan, Hussein, who was fooled into believing the claim by the President of Egypt that Israel had been destroyed, decided to join the war. At 9:45 that morning, the Jordan army opened fire on Jerusalem and on the Jewish communities along side the border. Hundreds of shells fell on Jerusalem. In the late afternoon, the Jordanian troops conquered Armon Hanatziv, which was used as a UN base. Jordanian shells fell on Kibbutz Bet She'an and in Mishlosh, Kfar Saba, Kfar Sirkan, Lod, Ra'anana, Tel Baruch and Tel Aviv. The IAF began bombing airports in Jordan, Syria and Iraq. 50 Syrian planes, 30 Jordanian and 10 Iranian planes were destroyed. Although the Jerusalem brigade conquered Armon Hanatziv that afternoon, the Jordanian shells continued falling. In response, the Chief of General Staff commanded the 55 brigade, the brigade commanded by Mordechai Gur, to begin their ascent into Jerusalem. The Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, spoke that night, during a conference that was assembled by the government. "In the light of the situation in Jerusalem and despite the Jordanian shells and warnings that were sent- this is our chance to finally free the Old City."

June 6 - The Paratroops Fight For Jerusalem

At six in the morning, following intense combat, the Paratrooper Brigade under command of Major General Mordechai Gur, finally freed Ammunition Hill. 21 paratroopers were killed and dozens more were injured. The Jordanians lost 70 fighters in this battle. During the day, the paratroopers, in cooperation with the Jerusalem brigade, conquered the neighborhoods and towns surrounding the Old City. Out of respect for the holiness of the old city, the troops avoided using armor and artillery. At 5:30 the IDF began shelling Gaza. The 7th Armored brigade, commanded by Major General Yisrael Tal, was charged with conquering Gaza. The brigade was enforced by further paratrooper troops under command of Raful. Once, Gaza was conquered, the shells ceased falling on the settlements lining the border.

In the early morning hours, the IDF conquered Latrun, Nevei Samul and Bet Ichsah, and completed the eastern siege on Jerusalem. The Harrel 10th brigade, under the command of Major General Uri Ben Ari fought until the early afternoon for the Tel ?Al-Tuf post, Shoaft, Mivater Hill, and the French Hill, north of the city. In the late afternoon, the IDF troops entered Qalqiliya without any shots fired. After 24 hours, the continuous rocket attacks ceased, and the residents of Jerusalem began emerging from their bomb shelters.

June 7 - "The Temple Mount is in Our Hands"

In the late hours of the morning, the 55 brigade breached the old city traveling through the Lions gate. After half an hour, the brigade commander emotionally reported on his two-way radio, "The Temple Mt. is in Our Hands," and the Israeli fag was raised facing the Western Wall. The Chief Military Rabbi, Major General Shlomo Goran, organized the evening prayers at the Western Wall for all those troops that freed the city. Emotions ran wild. "Hugs, shouts, confusion, men patting each other on the shoulders?.laughter, cries, and hugging once more," read Brigade Commander Gur. "I feel here, that this is my home. It is our dream! The Temple Mt.! Mt. Moriah, Abraham and Issac! The holy temple- the Maccabies, Bar Kochba, the Romans and Greeks each with the same interests. But our emotions, are deeper than them all. We are here on the Temple Mt., our home!" In the hours following, the Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Yitzchak Rabin arrived at the newly liberated Western Wall. Following their arrival, the renowned Israeli singer Noemi Shemar and the Nachal Brigade choir began singing "Jerusalem of Gold"- the song most identified with the Western Wall- to the great emotion of the Paratrooper Brigades assembled in the Old City. At that moment Shemer added a number of new verses to her famous song. She replaced the lines, "How have the wells of water dried out" and "There is no command of the Temple Mt." with "The wells of water have returned" and "A Shofar calls out on the Temple Mt."

In the meantime, the forces traveling along the northern access route, arrived at Romani, 24 km's from the Suez Canal. The IDF forces began advancing along the central access route, from J'bel Livin, and conquered Bir Chamah and Bir Jafafa. On the southern access route, the forces succeeded in arriving to Bir Hasnah, Bir Tmadah, and in the late afternoon hours arrived at the eastern entrance of the Mitle pass. In the late afternoon the Israel Navy torpedo arrived at Sharem- El- Sheek, a few hours earlier then the paratrooper forces. The next morning, the northern Gaza strip was cleared, and at 12:00 the conquering of Chan Yunas in southern Gaza was completed after successfully warding off two attacks on the cities. That afternoon, the President of Egypt surrendered Gaza.

At 14:00 IAF planes attacked the Jordanian Armor Corps at the western passageway to the city of Nablus, and accidentally hit an IDF blockade operating in that area. That evening the mayor of Nablus announced his surrender. The Armored forces gained control over Ramallah, Jericho, and Bethlehem. The Jordanian army's morale was completely crushed. That night, a meeting was held by the Prime Minister of Lebanon and his Chief of General Staff on whether to join the war. The Prime minister recommended to the Chief of General Staff to join in order to lessen the Egyptian army's burden. The Chief of General Staff refused, on account of the small size of the Lebanese army, numbering just 12,000 which couldn't possibly fight for more then a few hours. Then Prime minister concluded the meeting by agreeing Lebanon could not join in the fight.

June 8 - Sinai Fighing: 275 IDF Soldiers Dead, 10,000 Egyptians Dead

After a quick advancement during the night IDF soldiers reached the Suez Canal. All of the passes to the West were blocked and the Egyptian Armored forces, who attempted to reach the canal were ambushed and attacked in the Gidi and Mitleh passes. Before they escaped, the Egyptians set the Ras Sudar oil fields aflame. On the way to the canal, IDF armored forces, which were leading the forces, defeated large Egyptian Armored forces, which were attempting to pave a way to the canal. At the end of a day of battle saturated with blood, with many Armored Corps casualties, there were thousands of Egyptian soldiers who were stranded in the heart of the desert, with no access to supplies or ammunition. An Israeli battalion of tanks managed to successfully face 60 Egyptian tanks. At 21:30 the Egyptians announced their agreement to a cease- fire in the Sinai. The Major General of the Southern Command, Shayke Gavish, summarized the events: the IDF destroyed 600 tanks. 100 functioning Egyptian tanks were captured. Approximately 10,000 Egyptian soldiers were killed, and 3000 were captured. IDF losses in the Sinai: 275 dead, 800 soldiers injured, and 61 tanks were hit.

The commander of the Paratrooper Brigade Colonel Rephael "Raful' Eitan, was badly wounded by a bullet to the head, when he lead the Paratroops toward the canal. Raful was evacuated to a hospital, and was replaced by Colonel Aharon Davidi, the Chief Paratrooper Officer. Davidi lead the Paratroops in the final battle of the war.

June 9 - The Golan Heights are Captured

On the eve of the 8th of June a cabinet meeting was called to decide how to operate against the Syrian military. The Minister of Defense was against the idea, explaining that there was no need to open a new front, and worried that it may cause Soviet intervention. On that day, the IAF, which returned from missions in other regions, attacked the Syrian positions in the Golan Heights. On the morning of the 9th of June, after it became known that Egypt had agreed to a cease-fire, the Minister of Defense changed his position and ordered the Northern Command to attack.

At the beginning, the brigades of the region were sent into battle. The brigade in the Hula Valley attacked and captured the Syrian positions in the Gonen- Nutra region. A force from the Jordan Valley went to attack the area of Tufik however, the attack was compromised by heavy Syrian artillery shelling and was subsequently cancelled.

In the meantime, the main breaching forces prepared for action- the 8th Brigade which was brought from the Sinai, and the Golani Brigade. The 8th Brigade breached from Givat Haem adjacent to Kefar Saled, and moved in the direction of Zaura. During the battle, a battalion of tanks advanced toward the direction of Kela, while traversing difficult terrain and meeting Syrian resistance at the end of the battle, only two functioning tanks reached Kela. In the wake of the 8th the Golani brigade advanced and captured the posts in Tel Azaziat and Tel Faher. In the former, there was fierce combat. In the night, the forces of the brigade advanced toward the Banias region, and captured it on the morning of the 10th of June. Additionally, the Command received reinforcements from the Jordanian front. The 37th Brigade advanced to the heights in the region of Gonen, after the frontal Syrian posts in the region were captured beforehand. The 45th Brigade captured Tel Hamra in the night.

The 8th brigade succeeded in conquering Kantara, and the 37th brigade advanced to Kfar Nefach. The Peled division engaged in combat in the southern Golan. The 80th paratrooper brigade forces conquered Tofik, as other forces landed in helicopters deep into the battlefield, eventually reaching the Butmia Junction. Further troops began traveling down the Hamah road. The sector brigade took control over the Syrian position along the Sea of Galiliee up until the Jacob's Daughters Bridge. The 10th brigade ascended into the region's hill in the late afternoon and had already advanced into Chushia that night. The following morning, Saturday, the 10th of June, Major General Elad Peled received noticed of a ceasefire that had begun at 18:30. At 17:30, the helicopter force landed in Botmiya and at 18:15, the 45 th brigade conquered Massadah, in the north and the Mt. Hermon slope.

On the 12th of that month, an airlifted Golani Brigade force succeeded in capturing the Mt. Hermon region.

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