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 'The 1967 Arab-Israeli war' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, thank you for visiting TIAH. In this thread, I explore how UN rejection of Nasser's ultimatum regarding UN peacekeepers in the Sinai might have led to an earlier start to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.
Gamal Nasser

May 18

On this day in 1967, the United Nations rejected a demand by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Sinai Peninsula, citing what they deemed as the necessity of the peacekeepers' presence in the Sinai region.

Outraged by this refusal, Nasser ordered his troops to attack the UN bases, touching off what would later be known as the Sinai War.

 - Gamal Nasser
Gamal Nasser

May 19

On this day in 1967, UN secretary general U Thant condemned the Egyptian attack on the UN peacekeeper bases in the Sinai Peninsula.

That same day the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for Egypt to end hostilities against the peacekeepers immediately.

UN Sec. Gen
UN Sec. Gen - U Thant
U Thant

May 20
Israeli PM

On this day in 1967, Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol convened an emergency meeting of his top defense and intelligence advisors to finalize strategy for what looked like an inevitable conflict with Egypt.

Within hours of that meeting, Eshkol made a speech broadcast by radio from the Knesset floor which asserted that the Egyptian assault on the UN peacekeepers indirectly constituted an act of war against Israel.

Israeli PM - Levi Eshkol
Levi Eshkol

May 21

On this day in 1967, Israeli air force jets launched pre-emptive strikes against military targets throughout Egypt just as the Egyptian navy was preparing to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.

Within hours of those pre-emptive strikes 90% of the Egyptian air force and 65% of the Egyptian navy had been destroyed.

 - Gamal Nasser
Gamal Nasser

May 23

On this day in 1967, Israeli ground troops captured the Egyptian Sinai cities of Taba and Port Said.

 - Israeli Victory
Israeli Victory

May 24

On this day in 1967, IDF ground troops in northern Israel repulsed an attack by Syrian forces from the Golan Heights; earlier that day, the Syrian government had announced it was declaring war on Israel in defense of Egypt against what was called 'blatant Zionist aggression' by Radio Damascus.

Israeli Defence
Israeli Defence - Force Logo
Force Logo

May 25

On this day in 1967, the Israeli air force shot down dozens of Syrian fighter jets during a massive air battle over Damascus.

Jordan's King Hussein, convinced the Arab armies were headed for disaster, urged Gamal Abdel Nasser and Syrian president Nureddin Atassi to begin cease-fire negotiations with Israel before it was too late.

 - King Hussein
King Hussein

May 26

On this day in 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser angrily denounced Jordan's King Hussein as a 'cowardly traitor' for urging Nasser to agree to a cease-fire with Israel.            

 - Gamal Nasser
Gamal Nasser

May 28
Israeli Defence

On this day in 1967, IDF ground forces occupied the Golan Heights to prevent a recurrence of the Syrian attempt to invade northern Israel four days earlier; that same day Israeli troops in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula occupied the port of Sharm el Sheikh.

Israeli Defence - Force Logo
Force Logo

May 30
Israeli Paratroopers

On this day in 1967, Israeli paratroopers captured East Jerusalem from Arab forces.

Israeli Paratroopers - Wailing Wall
Wailing Wall

June 1

On this day in 1967, anti-government riots rocked Cairo as tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to protest the Nasser regime's handling of the war with Israel.

That same day Syrian air force officer Hafez al-Assad, the highest-scoring Arab fighter ace of the Sinai War, was killed in a crash shortly after takeoff.

Fighter Ace
Fighter Ace - Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad

June 2

On this day in 1967, Israeli artillery began shelling Cairo.

 - Gamal Nasser
Gamal Nasser

June 4

On this day in 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser died of heart failure just as Israeli ground forces were entering Cairo.

 - Gamal Nasser
Gamal Nasser

June 5

On this day in 1967, the provisional Egyptian government, led by National Assembly chairman Anwar Sadat, asked Israel for peace terms.                                                              

 - Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat

June 7
Israeli Paratroopers

On this day in 1967, Israeli and Egyptian diplomats signed a peace accord ending the Sinai War.

Israeli Paratroopers - Wailing Wall
Wailing Wall

June 12

On this day in 1967, Israeli troops began withdrawing from Cairo under the terms of the peace pact that ended the Sinai War.                                                                                  


June 16

On this day in 1967, UN peacekeepers began returning to their former bases in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as part of the terms of the peace accord ending the Sinai War.


July 1

On this day in 1967, the last Israeli ground troops withdrew from Cairo in accordance with the peace pact that ended the Sinai War.                                                                    


July 3

On this day in 1967, the Soviet government approved a generous foreign aid package intended to expedite the reconstruction of Egyptian port and industrial facilities damaged by Israeli bombardment during the Sinai War.


August 23

On this day in 1967, the Arab League convened an emergency summit in Damascus hoping to mend strained relations between Syria and Egypt, who had been blaming each other for the Arab powers' defeat in the Sinai War. The summit was a disastrous failure: before it was over, Egypt had severed diplomatic relations with Syria and would not resume them for nearly three decades.

 - Arab League
Arab League

March 7

On this day in 1968, Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol died of heart failure at the age of 72.

 - Levi Eshkol
Levi Eshkol

June 4

On this day in 1968, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen just minutes after winning the California Democratic primary. The shooter, who was himself gunned down by LAPD officers while trying to escape the scene of the murder, was later identified as one Sirhan Bishara Sirhan; detectives investigating the assassination quickly suspected Sirhan, a son of Palestinian immigrants, had shot Kennedy in retaliation for the former US Attorney General's pro-Israel stance during the Sinai War.

 - Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy

November 3

On this day in 1968, former vice-president Richard Nixon was elected the 37 President of the United States; he did particularly well among Jewish-American voters by virute of his of his unswervingly pro-Israel foreign policy speeches, most notably his famous "there must not be another Sinai War" address just after the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.

 - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

April 28

On this day in 1969, Syria rejected a Soviet diplomatic initiative to hold meetings between Syrian, Soviet, and Egyptian negotiators in Damascus aimed at restoring formal ties between Syria and Egypt. It was a disastrous setback for Soviet interests in the Middle East; Moscow had hoped that a rapproachement between Damascus and Cairo would boost Moscow's prestige in the region and provide a counterweight to US support of Israel.

Flag of
Flag of - Syria

June 14
Black September

On this day in 1970, the radical Palestinian faction Black September established a base camp in Syria with assistance from Syrian intelligence officers who wanted the group's aid in undermining Israeli control of the Golan Heights.

Black September - in Golan
in Golan

August 19

On this day in 1970, Black September made its first major attack on Israel, firing rockets across the Syrian border at a kibbutz five miles from the edge of the Golan Heights.

 - Black September
Black September

August 20
Flag of

On this day in 1970, Israeli fighter jets bombed Black September camps in Syria in retaliation for the previous day's rocket attack. This air strike marked the beginning of an armed standoff between Israel and Syria that would reach its grim climax two years later with the 1972 October War.

Flag of - Syria

September 15

On this day in 1967, an Iraqi military junta calling itself the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) seized power in Baghdad, seeking to undo what it called "the stain on our honor and that of our Arab brothers" inflicted by the Arabs' defeat in the Sinai War. The RCC's number two man was a then little-known army officer named Saddam Hussein, who just over a decade later would become head of the group and thus ruler of Iraq.

 - Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein

March 22

On this day in 1971, Israel and Syria took one step closer to going to war with each other when IDF border guards engaged Syrian commandos along the Golan Heights; three Israelis and four Syrians were killed in the skirmish.

 - Israeli Victory
Israeli Victory

The next day Syria's official government radio broadcast service falsely claimed the four commandos had died defending Syria from an alleged Israeli invasion attempt.

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