In the mid 1960's tensions grew between Israel and the countries bordering it: Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Some historians see the roots of the 1967 war in 1964, when the first Arab States Summit convened, deciding to establish a common Arab headquarters to coordinate their military buildup. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was established to act against Israel. The Syrian Government decided to thwart the laying of the "National Water Conduit," meant to supply Israel with water by pumping the Jordan River.
In January 1965, the Fatah (Palestinian, National Liberation Movement) carried its first terrorist act, target the water conduit. In the following years the Fatah carried many terrorist acts around Israel borders with Jordan and Syria, and Israel reacted sharply.
Especially remembered is the Samu Incident where the IDF's attacked the West Bank village controlled by Jordan. A Jordanian force was rushed in as well as Israeli and Jordanian aircraft, and the incident took much larger dimensions than planned.
Following Syrian artillery attacked on the demilitarized area closed to its border with Israel, and its encouragement of terrorist attacks against Israeli settlements in the area, on April 7, 1967 the IAF attacked Syria. In the course of the incident, 6 Syrian aircraft were shot down. Following Syrian complaints that Egypt does not assist them as undertaken in their Defense Pact signed in November 1966, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt President, initiated a series of steps, thus causing an escalation and paving the road to war.
Egypt put its army on alert, began a public mobilization, and deployed its forces in the Sinai Peninsula, contrary to the UN decision from 1956, following the Sinai Campaign. In addition, President Nasser demanded the removal of the UN forces deployed in Sinai since then. UN Secretary U Thant consented to Egypt's demand and pulled the UN forces.
Following the departure of the UN forces, Nasser announced the closure of the Tiran straits to all vessels on their way to Israel, thus effectively blocking all traffic to the port of Eilat. The Government of Israel pronounced this a justified Casus Belli.
In the following two weeks tension rose: Egypt deployed much forces in the Sinai Peninsula, threatening to destroy Israel. Other Arab states joined the threats, an on May 29, 1967 the Kingdom of Jordan proclaimed its decision to join a war against Israel, if the last would attack any Arab country. Israel mobilized its reserves, the rear was put on war alert, shelters were prepared, and trenches dug.
On June 1, 1967, The Israeli coalition government was broadened to include the Gahal (The Heirut-Liberal Party Bloc) and Rafi (David Ben Gurion and partners) factions. On June 4, the government decided to launch a war.
On June 5, 1967, the "Red Sheet" code word sounded on the radios – the Six day war began.
Many academic researches, newspaper articles, and books were published about the Six day War, its reasons, course, and outcomes. Many recordings, documents and photographs from the pre-war and war periods are presented at the exhibition.
The apercu presented here is a background to the collection of documents, formations' combat logs, and photographs, selected from the IDFA's much documentation of the six day war. Many photographs from the war may be retrieved from the site as well.
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