Chapter 5 - The Six-day War of 1967

Karima Ranieri
Flashcards by Karima Ranieri, updated more than 1 year ago
Karima Ranieri
Created by Karima Ranieri over 3 years ago


LO: How participants slid into war and how map of the Middle East was redrawn.

Resource summary

Question Answer
What did Nasser do in 1964? - Invited the leaders of the Arab states to a conference in Cairo.
What did the Arabs all agree on? What was their ultimate aim? - Opposition to the state of Israel. - In an official document, they declared their ultimate aim being the destruction of Israel.
When was the Palestine Liberation Organisation set up? 1964
What was the purpose of the PLO? - Set up to lead the struggle to regain Palestine, it also provided many health and welfare services in the Palestinian refugee camps. - Its aim was to unite all Palestinians and to win back land they had lost in 1948-9.
What was the Fatah group? Who was it founded by and when? Where were its bases? - A Palestinian guerrilla group founded by Yasser Arafat in 1959. - Three bases: areas that bordered Israel, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
When did Fatah carry out its first raid on Israel? In 1965
What did the government of Lebanon and Jordan try to do? What was Syria in support of? - Tried to restrict PLO activities because they were afraid of Israeli reprisals. - Syrians supported the PLO. They encouraged Fatah's raids against Israel and supplied men and arms.
Why did Egypt not attack? After the 1956 Suez War, UN troops were placed on the border between Egypt and Israel to prevent further clashes.
What happened in Syria in February 1966? - A new radical aggressive government came to power. - It demanded 'revolutionary struggle' against Israel and called for the 'liberation of Palestine.'
November 1966, what was signed? - Nasser signed a defence agreement with the Syrian government whereby, if one state was attacked, the other would come to its defence.
What happened a week after the Egyptian-Syrian pact was signed? - A mine exploded on the Israel-Jordan frontier, killing three Israeli soldiers.
How did the Israelis retaliate? - They retaliated with a massive attack on the Jordanian village of Samu. - 15 Jordanian soldiers and 3 civilians were killed and over 100 houses destroyed.
What happened in April 7th 1967? - An Israeli tractor was ploughing land in the demilitarised zone. - Syrians opened fire, Israelis fired back. - Syrians then started shelling other Israeli settlements in the area, Israeli tanks went into action. - Israeli planes were also called up, there were intercepted by Syrian fighter planes. - Six Syrian planes were shot down, two over the Syrian capital.
In May 1967, what threats did Israel issue to Syria? - They issued several threats to act against Syria unless it stopped supporting Palestinian attacks on Israel.
What happened on the 12th of May that became interpreted in the wrong way by Arabs? - An Israeli general threatened to occupy the Syrian capital and overthrow the Syrian government. - Arabs saw this as a sign that Israel intended to attack Syria.
Which superpower intervened? Soviet Union
Why did the Soviet Union intervene? Viewed Syria as a key ally in the Middle East.
What did the Soviets warn the Egyptian government on the 13th May? That Israel was moving its armed forces to the border with Syria and was planning to attack.
Was this true? No.
Why did the Soviets lie? Perhaps they saw an opportunity to expand their influence in the region at a time when USA was bogged down in the Vietnam War.
What steps did Nasser take with the pressures of the Arab world? - 15th May: moved 100,000 Egyptian troops into the Sinai Peninsula. This alarmed the Israelis. - He asked the UN commander to remove his troops from Egyptian soil, to demonstrate independence. UN troops withdrew. - 22nd May: Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran, denying access to the port of Eilat. Israel viewed Nasser's actions as 'an aggressive act against which Israel is entitled to exercise self-defence'.
What happened on the 24th May 1967? Syrian defence minister challenged the Israelis, claiming that they will never call for or accept peace with the Israelis.
How did Israel respond to the situation? - Israeli military leaders knew that an Arab invasion was not imminent. - Israeli government wanted to secure US support.
Was Jordan to be involved in the war? - King Hussein wanted to avoid war and remain neutral if fighting broke out but half of the population in Jordan was Palestinian. - Therefore, King Hussein signed a mutual defence treaty with Egypt on the 30th May.
What happened on the 31st of May? Israel wanted the US government to take action to open the Straits of Tiran. - The Americans suggested that Israel should take action on its own, to open the Straits. - This was taken as a sign to go ahead and take military action.
What happened on the 1st of June in Israel? - A new Israeli government was formed, with Moshe Dayan as defence minister. - Three days later, the Israeli cabinet decided to go to war.
What happened on Monday the 5th of June? Israeli air force took off. It attacked the Arab planes on the ground: within four hours the Israelis had destroyed the air forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.
The conflict and its results Reasons for Israeli victory? - Arabs had lost 15,000 men while the Israelis had lost fewer than 1000. - The Arabs had larger armies but their air forces were destroyed. - The Arabs had modern Soviet missiles and other weapons, but the Israelis had French fighter planes and tanks. - The Israelis also had advanced US equipment which enabled them to intercept Arab communications. - The Israelis were highly skilled and well trained.
Which areas did Israel manage to occupy in June 1967? - West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, Golan Heights.
How were the newly occupied territories a major benefit for Israel? - Villages in the north of Israel were safe from Syrian artillery now that the Israelis controlled the Golan Heights. - Military fortifications were built on the banks of the River Jordan while the land on the West Bank of the river was controlled by Israel, protecting the country's narrow waist. - The Sinai desert formed a huge buffer between Israel and the Egyptian army. - They controlled east Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years. - Israeli government ordered the army to confiscate Arab land and build Jewish settlements. - However, they annexed east Jerusalem which was widely condemned by the UN general assembly.
Who did the Arabs blame? - USA, Britain and European powers for helping Israel in the war.
How did the Arabs in war benefit? - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Libya agreed to pay 135 million pounds annually to Egypt and Jordan as compensation for their losses in the war. - Soviet Union decided to replace the weapons they had lost.
What was the UN Resolution 242? - In November 1967, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242 which called for permanent peace based on: - Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict. - Respect for the right of every state in the area, to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries, free from threats or acts of force.
Key Debate Who was responsible for the outbreak of the Six-day War? Points for Arab responsibility - Syria was at fault as it actively encourage PLO raids into Israel from Bases in Syria and called for a war to liberate Palestine. - They also encouraged Fatah guerrillas to launch attacks on Israel from camps in the Jordanian-controlled West Bank. This led to Israelis launching their reprisal raids on the Jordanian village of Samu in November 1966. - Syrians further incited Nasser into taking more anti-israel actions. - They partially achieved their objective when, in November 1966, Nasser signed a defence agreement with Syria. - However, it was the Soviet report of Israeli troop concentration on the Syrian border that undoubtedly led to Nasser's decision, in May 1967, to order UN forces out of Egypt, deploy more Egyptian forces on Israel's border and close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. - Nasser's desire to impress public opinion.
Key Debate Who was responsible for the outbreak of the Six-day War? Points for Israeli responsibility - Among Israeli military leadership, there was undoubtedly a desire to teach the Syrians a lesson. - Israelis knew they were militarily superior and therefore in early June, decided to carry out air strikes on Egypt, Syria and Jordan. - Israelis thought they were given the green light by the Americans at the end of May.
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