With tensions mounting, the Straits of Tiran blocked, and Arab armies poised to strike, Israel decided (on June 5th 1967) to launch a pre-emptive attack on the massive Egyptian forces aimed at her. Within 190 minutes the backbone of the Egyptian airforce was broken, and by the end of the first day of war 298 Egyptian airplanes were destroyed. Backed by complete air superiority, Israeli army divisions then thrust into the Sinai desert approaching the bank of the Suez Canal. At the same time, Israel issued an appeal to Jordan to stay out of the war. (1) Jordan refused and opened a heavy artillery barrage on both west Jerusalem and the Tel-Aviv area which forced Israel to counterattack. By June 8th the Israel Defence Forces defeated the Jordanian forces and captured the whole of Judea and Samaria. On the morning of June 9th, Israel attacked the Syrians and captured the Golan Heights. From these heights, Syria had shelled and destroyed 205 houses, 175 acres of orchards and 75 acres of grain. 
The six days of fierce figthing ended in Israel’s occupation of the Sinai desert and the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the West Bank, providing Israel’s cities with a much needed buffer zone and dramatically reducing the danger of extinction by a surprise Arab attack. Furthermore, victory had a special religious meaning because of the unification of Jerusalem and the return of Jews to Judea and Samaria which was part of biblical Israel.


1. Sachar, History of Israel, p. 643. 
2. For a comprehensive day-by-day account of the Six Day War see Michael Oren (200). Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, New York: The Random House Ballantine Publishing Group.



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16 Apr 2015 / 27 Nisan 5775 0