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Arab-Israeli Conflict


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Title: Arab-Israeli Conflict

Arab-Israeli Conflict
Suez Canal Crisis 1956 War with Egypt
Changes in Egypt
  • Israels victory had effects throughout the Arab
  • The victory discredited many of the regions
    leaders, and young nationalist leaders came to
    power in places such as Egypt.

  • Nasser
  • Out of dissatisfaction came 1952 military coup
    led by 34-year old colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser
    forced King Farouk out of power
  • Nasser, followers abolished monarchy, created
    single government party, undertook ambitious land
    reform program to gain support among poor
  • Suez Crisis
  • Nasser became most important figure in Arab world
    after confrontation with Britain, France, Israel
    over Suez Canal
  • Suez Crisis had roots in politics of the Cold War
  • After Nasser came to power, refused to join
    Baghdad Pact, U.S.-led alliance against communism
    in Middle East

Growing Crisis
  • Dealing Arms
  • Nasser requested western countries sell him arms
    they refused
  • Turned to Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia,
    signed arms deal
  • U.S., Britain responded by refusing to loan Egypt
    money to build Aswan Dam
  • Nationalizing the Canal
  • Nasser enraged that funding denied for building
    dam on Nile River
  • Decided to nationalize, take control of, Suez
    Canal, which was owned by international company
    controlled by Britain, France
  • Growing Hostility
  • Nassers action celebrated as act of defiance by
    people in Arab world
  • British, French outraged by seizure of property
  • Hostility also growing between Egypt, Israel

Arab-Israeli War of 1956
  • USSR signs arms agreement with Egypt in 1955.
  • Israelis feel threatened by arms build up and
    launch pre-emptive strike against Egypt.
  • Attack and seize the Sinai and Gaza Strip.
  • Relinquished in 1957.
  • French and British retake Suez Canal which Egypt
    had seized several months earlier.
  • UN establishes peace keeping force in Sinai that
    is still in place today.

  • Her military was angry at being defeated by
    Israel and sought revenge.
  • Egypt closed the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba
    to Israeli ships in 1949, and continued to try to
    strangle Israeli trade this way.
  • She supported Arab Palestinians in the Gaza strip
    and enabled them to launch attacks into Israel.

The Suez Canal- closed to Israeli ships,
important for oil.
Petrol shortages caused by the Canal closure
caused problems in the West.
Suez Crisis of 1956
  • Egyptian President Nasser ordered the seizure of
    the Suez Canal in 1956
  • Britain, France, and Israel conduct a joint
    military attack against Egypt
  • US and USSR condemn the attack, all forces
    withdraw from Egypt by March of 1957
  • Nasser becomes a Pan-Arab hero, Israel viewed as
    an agent for Western aggression

The Suez Campaign A test of might for the young
nation of Israel.
Israel expands at Egyptian expense.
But the United Nations is called in by the USA to
stop the war.
The USA found itself unable to support Britain
and France. With Soviet (USSR) support the United
Nations was allowed to act. Watchful of the
Soviet advance into Hungary the USA couldnt take
a moral defence of Hungary and allow its own
allies to walk into Egypt. Cold War brinkmanship
took precedence over the Middle East. The USA
put financial pressure on Britain to quit . Saudi
Arabia meanwhile cut back Britains oil supplies.
The Palestinians (Arabs) set up a more efficient
organisation to promote itself in 1964- with the
assistance of the Arab League (all the Arab
nations). This was the PLO or Palestinian
Liberation Organisation, based originally on the
West Bank
Flag of the PLO-Palestinian Liberation
Organisation. By Arabs the PLO were seen as
freedom fighters. By Jewish settlers the PLO were
seen as terrorists.
Yasser Arafat- leader of the PLO from 1968
Es Samu
  • 1966 some Israeli soldiers were killed by a
    road-side bomb.
  • Israel blamed the newly formed PLO for this
    terrorist outrage and mobilised a large force of
    men and tanks.
  • The target was a Palestinian refugee camp at Es
    Samu thought to harbour terrorists.This camp was
    on Jordanian land.
  • The IDF attacked the camp, and also Jordanian
    soldiers who were nearby, before withdrawing.

Israeli tank of 1967 Samu raid.
Six Day War 1967
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
The Arab-Israeli conflict that began in 1948 has
continued through the years. In 1967 and again in
1973, war erupted. Six years after the 1973 war,
Egypt and Israel singed a peace agreement, but
unrest among Palestinian Arabs in Israel remained
a major problem.
June/Six Day War
  • Nasser, equipped with Soviet supplies, convinces
    Arab allies that they are ready to confront
    Israel (Bluff?)
  • May, 1967 Arabs invade Sinai and block Israeli
  • Israel unleashes massive air attack (June 5th)
  • Defeats Arab enemies in six days (June 11th)-
    Occupies Golan Heights
  • Nasser Humiliated

1967 War
  • Israel believes neighbors are preparing for war
  • Egypt requests withdrawal of UN in May 1967 and
    denies Israel access to the Red Sea by closing
    Straits of Tiran
  • Jordan and Egypt sign mutual defense agreement
  • Continued terrorist attacks from Syrias Golan
    Heights region
  • Israeli surprise attack against Egypt on June 5,
  • Also attacks Syria, Jordan
  • Within six days Israel defeats Egypt, Syria,
  • Takes control of West Bank , Gaza Strip
  • Control of all of Jerusalem
  • Control of Sinai (from Egypt)
  • Control of Golan Heights (from Syria)

Six Day War
  • 5-10 June 1967
  • Egypt, Jordan, and Syria begin military
  • Israel launches surprise pre-emptive strike.
  • Destroys most of Egyptian Air Force on the
  • Knocked out 350 aircraft in first three hours.
  • Armored forces supported by air and infantry
    quickly take Sinai, Golan Heights, West Bank
    (including Arab portion of Jerusalem, and Gaza.
  • Destroyed over 200 Arab tanks in two days.
  • UN arranges cease-fire, but terms did not specify
    exactly what land Israel was required to give up.

Israel 264,000 men
Egypt 100,000 men
Jordan 55,000 men
Syria 75,000 men
Map of war zone.
Syrian forces ready here
The Sinai Desert. Main Egyptian forces dug in
Jordanian forces ready here
The Six Day War
  • In 1967, after a month of escalating tension
    Israel attacked Syria and Egypt. In six days
    both Arab armies were crushed as was the army of
    Jordan which attempted to come to their aid.
  • At the wars end Israel occupied all of
    Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights and the
    Egyptian Sinai Peninsular.

  • Result app. 800,000 Palestinians are displaced
  • Yasser Arafat founds the Palestinian Liberation
    Organization (PLO) 1964
  • Six-Day War (Jun 511, 1967)
  • Israel acquires West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the
  • Fighting causes many Palestinians to flee into
    neighboring Arab countries, especially from the
    Golan Heights
  • OCs under martial law not represented by MPs

Israel before and after the six-day war 1967.
Dead Wounded
Israel 1,029 2,400
Egypt 11,500 20,000
Jordan 700 2,500
Syria 2,500 5,000
  • Israel had restored its image as an independent
    and strong nation.
  • Israel was now three times bigger than it had
    been in 1966.
  • The pan-Arab ideas of Nasser had taken a huge
  • Israel now had the security risk of an extra 1
    million Arab people inside its own borders. About
    1/3 million Arabs fled to Jordan- where they were
    easy prey to PLO recruiters.
  • Israel was now easier to defend against outside
    aggression having wide deserts and mountains just
    inside its borders.
  • The status of the new territories was
    problematic. Should the residents get citizen
    status?Could you have an Israeli/Arab
    Palestinian? Did Israel really want all the land-
    especially that with inherent ownership problems
    (eg the Gaza Strip)?
  • Israel launched a huge settlement plan- to occupy
    the land won with people loyal to Israel.

Palestinian Refugees
More refugees
Many Arabs fled from Israel. This is a refugee
camp in Syria. The people here would harbour
grudges about their lost homes for years to
come. The words of the PLO would be very
persuasive for them.
How would you feel if you had lost your home in a
United Nations Resolution 242
  • Land for peace This was the idea that Israel
    might give back some of the captured land if the
    Arabs agreed to drop ownership claims to other
    parts of the region and their threats of war
    against Israel.
  • Arguments over this would, unfortunately, lead to
    future wars. The basic questions of ownership
    were still not resolved.
  • For now Israel was celebrating. Gamal Nasser was
    fuming, however, and thinking of ways to retreive
    his reputation.

The Khartoum Resolution1967
  • The Arab leaders of the Arab league met in this
    city to discuss what to do next with Israel.
  • They had been badly beaten in the Six Day War.
  • The Palestinian issue was still unresolved.
  • They decided to have
  • No recognition of the State of Israel.
  • No peace with Israel.
  • No negotiations with Israel.

Perspectives on and Aftermath of 1967 War
  • Israeli
  • Palestinian and Arab Nations
  • West Bank and Gaza Strip become known as
    Occupied Territories
  • Some will accept Israel at pre-1967 War borders.
  • Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) later
    begins to use terrorism to attract attention to
    its cause of an independent state.
  • Land gained is a buffer zone to deter future
  • Begin to build settlements in West Bank, Gaza
    Strip and Golan Heights
  • Unified Jerusalem under Israeli control

  • Write for three minutes about BOTH of the
    following questions.
  • If you were Israeli, how might you feel about the
    1967 war and its outcome?
  • If you were Palestinian, how might you feel about
    the 1967 war and its outcome?

Black September 1968
  • In Syria some army units called The Palestinian
    Liberation Army(PLA) had been equipping.
  • The US, meanwhile, promised aid to King Hussein
    of Jordan, and even Israel flew threatening
    missions over Syria to stop her supporting the
    PLO with the PLA.
  • The death of Gamal Nasser (September 1968) took
    real authority away from the Palestinians.
    Without his support they had to stop the
  • Yasser Arafat , leader of the PLO, immediately
    began looking for new sponsors for the
    Palestinian cause. The Palestinians called this
    time Black September because their cause, for a
    while, looked lost.

Greater Israel---Late 1960s and Early 1970s
  • Following the 1967 war the UNSC passed resolution
    242 which reaffirmed the inadmissibility of the
    acquistion of territory by war.
  • Israel ignored the resolution and began settling
    the occupied territories, and went on to annex
    the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.
  • Israels refusal to return captured territory led
    to the 1969-70 War of Attrition and the 1973 Yom
    Kippur War.
  • Moshe Dayan, confident in Israels military
    prowess announced, There is no more Palestine.

International Terrorism in the late 1960s and
into the 1970s
  • Following the 1967 war Palestinian militant
    groups used international terrorism to bring
    attention to their cause.
  • George Habash, leader of the PFLP justified such
    acts as For decades world attention has neither
    been for or against the Palestinians. It simply
    ignored us. At least the world is talking about
    us now.
  • Many Palestinian actions however, like the 1978
    Coast Road Massacre or the murder of 22 children
    in the 1974 Maalot School Massacre, were
    unjustified and unjustifiable.