Status Quo Side: Israel
Non-Status Quo Side: United Arab Republic (Egypt & Syria)
Region: Middle East
Conflict Type: Interstate
Issues in Dispute: Ethnic, Territory
Israel withdrew to her previous borders after the 1956 Suez-Sinai war [see SIN] only after Western assurances that Gaza would not be a base for raids nor the Gulf of Aqaba blockade be renewed. The UN Emergency Force (UNEF I) patrolled the Egyptian side of the lines for 10 years while both sides rearmed. Superpower maneuvering and inter-Arab relations dominated mid-east politics until a radical Syrian regime in 1965 encouraged guerrilla activity. Israel escalated reprisals amid warnings to Syria and Jordan. President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, under mounting pressure, successfully demanded UNEF withdrawal on May 16 1967, and on May 22 reimposed the Aqaba blockade.
After mounting rumors of military preparations on both sides, Israel attacked Egypt, Syria and Iraq, and subsequently Jordon. UNSC calls for a cease-fire were accepted on June 10 only after Israel completed its objectives of destroying the Arab air forces and securing what it considered defensible borders at the Suez canal, the Jordan River, Gaza, the Golan Heights and Sharm al Sheik.
Stepped-up guerrilla activities and extensive Soviet equipment deliveries to Egypt led to a new war of attrition, which Israel met with attacks across the canal and deep penetration reprisals. Nasser's death and Jordan's defeat of guerrilla activities opened the way to negotiations leading to a series of cease-fires starting August 7 1970. [see MEW]
Copyright © 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton