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Index / Political / Modern Wars /
Six-Day War



Six-Day War

War fought in 1967 between Israel on one side and Egypt, Jordan and Syria on the other side. The active Arab states received aid from Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria.
From its beginning to the end, the war lasted 132 hours and 30 minutes (less than 6 days). But the duration was shorter on 2 of the 3 fronts: on the Egyptian side only 4 days, and on the Jordanian side only 3 days. It was only on the Syrian side that the war lasted the whole 6 days.
The war could have lasted longer than it did, and the result could have been different and less humiliating for the Arabs, as their the power of their armies was far from depleted. But there were mainly 2 reasons why the Arab nations gave in: 1. The lost territories held relatively few inhabitants (as was the case with Sinai for Egypt and Golan Heights for Syria) or was occupied territory (as was the case with Gaza Strip for Egypt and West Bank for Jordan). 2. The capitals of each of the three countries were threatened (Israeli troops were less than 100 km from Cairo and less than 50 km from Damascus and Amman).
The war was the most dramatic of all wars fought between Israel and the Arab nations, resulting in a depression in the Arab world lasting many years, changing the mentalities and political orientations among the people, as well as resulting in increased tensions between the Arab countries and the Western world. While the actual material and human losses were dramatic enough, Arab weakness in this war compared to Israeli efficiency will probably not be forgot for still many decades to come.
The war left Israel with the largest territorial gains from any of the wars the country had been involved in: Sinai and Gaza Strip were captured from Egypt, East Jerusalem and West Bank from Jordan and Golan Heights from Syria.
For the international society the war resulted in a closure of the Suez Canal for 8 years, resulting in increase of freight prices in international trade.
The war would be followed by the War of Attrition (1968-1970).

History
1967 May: Forces on both Arab and Israeli sides of the borders are mobilized.
June 5: Israel attacks Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Israel achieved great victories immediately, especially on the Egyptian front, where Egyptian air crafts are wiped out after effective bombing of air strips.
June 7: The strategically important Egyptian Sharm el-Sheikh is captured.
— Jordan surrenders to Israel, after having lost East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
June 8: The entire Sinai comes under Israeli control. Later that evening, Israeli fights on the Egyptian front cease.
June 10: Syria surrenders, after seeing Golan Heights come under Israeli control.
1973 October: The Yom Kippur comes as a reaction to the territorial losses and the humiliation of the Six-Day War.
1979 March 26: Camp David Agreement signed between Egypt and Israel. Israeli withdrawal from Sinai starts, and goes on for the next 3 years. The second part of the agreement, which dealt with autonomy for the Palestinians on Gaza Strip and the West Bank, is never observed from Israeli side.




By Tore Kjeilen