A little over fifty years ago, Syria sent out a false warning of Israeli troop concentrations along the border that gave rise to a series of events leading to the Six-Day War. After Israel’s Declaration of independence, alliances formed between Syria, Egypt, and Jordan to fight for territory causing conflict between the Israel and the Arab nations. Due to a six-day war, the United Nations put a compromise in place as a cease-fire, resulting in Israel capturing the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula, Old City of Jerusalem, and the West Bank. This land brought over one million palestinians under Israeli military control and increased Israel’s economic growth. Israel’s victory and their capture of land resulted in an increase of tension in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the nations are still in a dispute today.
Conflict between the Palestines and the Jewish culture started with a battle over a section of land. The land was claimed by both religions, but was internationally known as the Palestine land. After the war of 1948, the United Nations decided to divide the land into three sections and split it up equally. The land consisted of the State of Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The Jewish culture claimed all the land theirs, stating that the land was a biblical promise to Abraham and his descendants and the historical site of ancient Jewish kingdoms (Primer on Palestine). The Jews wanted to preserve their culture and the site of their Jewish origin. The Palestines claimed the land all theirs, stating that they have been living on the land for hundreds of years and the majority of the people living on the land was of the Palestine religion.
The Palestines also claimed that the Jew’s claim to the land did not pertain to modern society and in a biblical sense the son of Abraham, Ishmael was an ancestor of the Arabs and god promised the land to the children of Abraham which includes the Arabs. Israel repeatedly showed the need to negotiate a peace treaty with the neighboring Arab nations and tried to negotiate various times to avoid any major conflict. Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser said on October 15th that “Israel was trying to decieve world opinion.
” (President Nasser) Nasser was declaring that Egypt would not agree to recognize the Jewish culture or negotiate a peace agreement. In May of 1967, a soviet warning of Israeli troop concentrations at the border of Syria caused a chain of events to occur, leading to the 1967 war. President Gamal Abdel Nasser had an obligation to help defend Syria, an ally tied to the defense treaty in November 1966. Egypt mobilized, deployed its troops, and formally requested that the United Nations Emergency Force be removed from the Israel-Egypt ceasefire lines. The United Nations moved on May 19th. If President Nasser had not followed order for a false warning, then the war could have been avoided altogether (Karsh). Evidence shows that Nasser considered the possibility that the warning was false, but Nasser deployed his troops in Sinai out of fear of damaging his Pan-Arab reputation.
Knowing there was no threat of Israeli troop concentrations along the border, President Nasser continued to intensify his actions. Nasser had been chastised for not coming to aid Syria and Jordan in a previous battle and was hiding behind the United Nations Emergency Force stationed in Egypt, near the border. President Nasser decided to blockade the international waterway, Israel’s southern port of Eilat and the Gulf of Aqaba. U.S. President Johnson recognized and stated that closing the international waterway was illegal and a disastrous act of war.
Knowing this, Jordan signed the mutual Defense Pact with Egypt and Syria on May 30th. President Nasser said to the alliance “The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.” (President Nasser) Israel knew it was only a matter of time until the three Arab nations would arrange a massive attack and wipe out Israel completely.
In response to Egypt’s blockade, Israel organized an assault that destroyed Egypt’s air force on June 5th, 1967. The Arab nations did not expect Israel to attack with an air force strike. In most air forces, a majority of the planes stay down for maintenance. However, around 7:45 A.M., 200 of Israeli Air Force planes took flight towards Egypt’s air force base. The planes flew low through gaps in Egyptian radars to avoid detection. Jordanian radars detected planes and sent coded messages to Jordan military headquarters, who then sent them to Egypt’s headquarters.
Egypt had updated their coding frequencies and did not receive the warnings. Meanwhile, Israeli planes flew into Egyptian territory in small groups of four to have planes on target, and additional planes continuously on the way. Egypt had missiles and planes ready, but no order was sent out for the planes and missiles to be launched. Israeli air forces destroyed two-thirds of Syria’s Air Force and 400 Egypt Planes. Israel rearmed and fueled quickly to keep Egypt in devastation for two hours without recovery. Simultaneously, Israeli troops on the ground were strategically penetrating open spaces of the Sinai. They fought with adequate movement and assistance from the air forces. Egypt put out a claim that Israel had been destroyed and Hussein, the King of Jordan, believed the claim and joined in the war.
Jordanian troops open fired and dropped hundreds of shells on Jerusalem. The Israeli Air Force began bombing Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraq airports. Fifty Syrian planes, thirty Jordanian planes, and ten Iranian planes were destroyed. Israel’s Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, spoke during a conference that night, arranged by the government saying, “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 (The Six-Day War).”Early the next morning, the Israeli Paratrooper Brigade freed Ammunition Hill.
twenty-one Israeli paratroopers were killed and seventy of the Jordanian troops were killed. Later that day, the paratroopers conquered the neighborhoods and towns surrounding the Old City. Then the Israeli Defense Forces heavily fired at the Gaza Strip and conquered it.