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The Six-Day War

by Fiona Noonan

When it occurred

The first strikes of the six-day-war happened on June 5th, 1967 by the Israeli Air Force. The entire war only lasted 132 hours and 30 minutes, (less than 6 days). The fighting on the Egyptian side only lasted 4 days, while fighting on the Jordanian side lasted 3. Despite the short length of the war, this was one of the most dramatic and devastating wars ever fought between Israel and all of the Arab nations. This war resulted in a depression that lasted for many years after it ended. The six-day-war increased tension between the Arab nations and the Western World because of the change in mentalities and political orientations of the Arab nations.

Who was involved in the Conflict?

The six-day-war was between a collection of countries, some of which where Arab and some where not. On one side was Israel, and on the other side was Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The other countries that where involved in the war only gave aid to the Arab nations in the battle, these countries were Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria.

The reasons why the war started

Israel and it's Arab neighbours had been hostile towards each other since 1948. For many years before the war tension was growing between all of the Arab Nations and the Jews. When Israel finally declared its statehood, several Arab countries started to attack it. The Arab countries refused to accept that Israel could be a Jewish state. The President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nassar, called for the destruction of Israel and started to mobilise for war. In the beginning there were just occasional civilian attacks, but then the attacks became more frequent and more destructive and violent. Because of the tension the president Nassar closed down the most important trading link between Israel to the rest of the world, the Strait of Tiran. This was an act of war, but they did not know that Israel would strike back with such ferocity.

How the conflict was resolved

Israel's victory was devastating to the Arabs because they expected the victory to be for themselves and found it difficult to accept the fact that they had lost to another religion. However the Israelis saw the war as an enormous victory, but the territories that it gained did not stop future fighting. The war only took 6 days despite this the Arab forces lost almost their entire air forces, and much of their armed weaponry. 10,000 Egyptians were killed in Siniai and Gaza alone when only 300 Israeli soldiers had casualties on the front. In all, Egypt lost about 11,000 troops, Jordan lost about 6,000, Syria lost about 1,000, and Israel lost about 700. Israel gained all of Jerusalem, The Golan Heights, Siniai, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. Israel had gained some territory after the war, but refused to give them back. Because of the Israeli refusal to give back the land the Arabs and Palestinians declared their intention to keep on fighting Israel, for years after the war. The six-day-war was then followed by what was known as The War of Attrition. Although cease-fire agreements were made, the region remained unstable.

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