7 June 1967

Six-Day War: Israeli soldiers enter Jerusalem.

The Six-Day War, also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or the Third Arab-Israeli War, was a conflict fought between June 5 and June 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt (known then as the United Arab Republic), Jordan, and Syria.

Causes and Background

Political Tensions: The war’s origins can be traced back to the political tension between Israel and the Arab countries, particularly Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The conflict was fueled by territorial disputes, refugee issues, and the broader Arab-Israeli conflict.
Blockade of the Straits of Tiran: In May 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the blockade of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, which Israel considered a casus belli (justification for war).
Mobilization and Alliances: Egypt mobilized its military forces in the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan and Syria also began military mobilizations, and a defense pact was signed between Egypt and Jordan.

Course of the War

Preemptive Air Strikes: On June 5, 1967, Israel launched Operation Focus, a series of preemptive airstrikes that targeted Egyptian airfields. The Israeli Air Force achieved air superiority by destroying the majority of the Egyptian Air Force while it was still on the ground.
Sinai Peninsula: Israeli ground forces moved swiftly into the Sinai Peninsula, defeating Egyptian forces and advancing to the Suez Canal.
West Bank and East Jerusalem: Israel engaged Jordanian forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, ultimately capturing these territories.
Golan Heights: On June 9 and 10, Israeli forces attacked Syrian positions in the Golan Heights, eventually capturing the territory.

Outcomes and Consequences

Territorial Changes: Israel gained control of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and the Golan Heights. These territorial acquisitions significantly changed the political and geographic landscape of the region.
Casualties and Displacement: The war resulted in significant casualties on both sides, with thousands of soldiers and civilians killed. It also led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians.
Political Impact: The war had a profound impact on Arab-Israeli relations. It demonstrated Israel’s military capability, leading to a shift in the balance of power in the Middle East. The war also laid the groundwork for future conflicts and peace negotiations.
UN Resolution 242: In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 242, calling for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and the “termination of all claims or states of belligerency.”

Legacy

The Six-Day War is considered a pivotal event in Middle Eastern history. It reshaped the region’s borders and had lasting implications for Arab-Israeli relations, influencing subsequent conflicts, peace processes, and the geopolitical dynamics of the Middle East. The territories captured by Israel during the war remain central issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and broader Arab-Israeli peace efforts.