The 1967 War, also known as the June War, Six Day War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between Israel and the surrounding states of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt from 5 June to 10 June 1967. Rather than a defensive war launched in the face of aggression, many historians today argue that the war was a continuation of Israeli attempts to seize further territory and consolidate its power in the region.1
The descent into the conflict began when, on 13 May, the Soviet Union informed Egypt that Israel had plans to invade Egypt’s ally, Syria. As a response, Israeli shipping was blocked in the Red Sea and Egypt’s army was supplemented from Jordanian and Iraqi forces, heightening tensions with Israel. The war itself commenced when Israel attacked Egypt’s air bases and destroyed the vast majority of the Egyptian air force while it languished on the ground on 5 June 1967. This pre-emptive attack was followed by Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip and Sinai the next day. Jordanian and Syrian forces were drawn into battle in response to Israel’s attack on Egypt, opening up other fronts with Israel. Over the course of six days, Israel managed to seize East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, thereby completing its control over historic Palestine, as well as the Golan Heights from Syria. In total over 20,000 Arab soldiers were killed, over 300,000 Palestinians were forced to flee from the West Bank, and 100,000 Syrians from the Golan. Almost all of those evicted from their homes have been prevented from returning home.