Olivia about 750,000 Palestinians were forced out of their

Olivia Lipten

Mr. Green

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World History

13 January 2018

 

            Leading
up to the Six-Day war, tensions between the Israelis and Egyptians were high. In
1948, about 750,000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes from the land
that is now Israel. They were never allowed back. The Egyptian 2president,
Nasser, his dream was to unite the Middle East under his leadership. In his
view, only one thing stood between this dream and its realization, Israel.
Nasser used Israel’s defeat of the Palestinians in the war of 1948 as an excuse
to rally his country and the rest of the Arab world together against Israel to
justify his military’s action against that country. Eventually a cease-fire was
signed on June 11 because of the extent of Egypt’s loses and Israel gained
control over the Gaza strip and the Sinai Peninsula.

 

            After
World War II, the Jewish people needed a state of their own, preferably in
their “biblical homeland”. The United Nations then decided to just place them
in Egypt forcing Egyptians out of their homes. This immediately struck conflict
between the Egyptians and Israelis. “The Palestinians call 1948 “al-Nakba”, or “the
Catastrophe”. (Bowen). Israel then continued to devastate Egypt during the Suez
Crisis by trying to invade them and remove their president to gain “western
control” over the Suez Canal, which had just been nationalized. The United
States, Soviet Union, and the United Nations pressured Britain, France and
Israel to retreat. When they did, it strengthened Nasser, making him a hero to
the Arabs. Israel then invaded Egypt again and Egyptian forces were defeated.

 

            Nasser,
holding a grudge for defeating and invading them, brought together Arab
countries to form guerrilla groups in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan and attacked
the Israelis. These attacks caused tension to rise, finally sparking war. “The
Arab coalition was no match for Israel’s proficient armed forces” (History). The
Israeli forces bought tanks from Britain and aircraft from France while the Egyptians
were provided a modern aircraft from the Soviet Union.  “Israel built a speedy, flexible and deadly
military. And by 1967 it was close to acquiring its own nuclear weapons.”
(Bowen). The Israelis had 264,000 troops, 800 tanks, and 300 combat aircraft.
The Egyptians had 340,000 troops, 1,800 tanks, and 660 combat aircraft. “As a
response to Egypt’s military deployment along the Sinai region, Israel launched
a pre-emptive strike on Egypt’s air force.” (Desk). They had been planning this
for almost eight years. Almost all of Egypt’s air force was wiped out as well
as Syrian and Jordan air bases. Just two days later, June 7, a cease-fire was
called due to the extent of Egyptian loses. “Egypt’s casualties numbered more
than 11,000 with 6,000 for Jordan and 5,000 for Syria, compared with only 700
for Israel.” (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica).

 

After the
war, On June 12, 1967 speaker K.Luz gave a speech commemorating the IDF (Israel
Defense Forces) casualties and congratulating the Israelis victory in battle. “I
hereby open the first Knesset siting in the united Jerusalem. Congratulations! Let
us remember our glorious dead, who gave their lives that the Jewish Nation
might live on the soil of Israel.”(Eshkol). Israel had control over East
Jerusalem, Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula,
and the Suez Canal. Eventually Nasser died of a heart attack and his successor
sought out peace with Israel. “Egypt however, would eventually negotiate and
make peace with Israel, and in 1982 the Sinai Peninsula was returned to
Egyptian exchange for full diplomatic recognition of Israel…The East Bank
territory has since been returned to Jordan. In 2005 Israel
left the Gaza Strip. Still, a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement
remains elusive, as does an agreement with Syria to return the Golan Heights.”
(History).