1967 war israel timeline
Israeli air attacks against Egypt begin in the morning.
An attack on Golan Heights is ordered.
Egyptian forces put up a spirited resistance, but later fell into disarray after Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer ordered a general retreat. Over the next several days, Israeli forces pursued the routed Egyptians across the Sinai, inflicting severe casualties.
Israel all but secured victory by establishing air superiority, but fierce fighting continued for several more days. The ground war in Egypt began on June 5. In concert with the air strikes, Israeli tanks and infantry stormed across the border and into the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip.
The Arab countries’ losses in the conflict were disastrous. Egypt’s casualties numbered more than 11,000, with 6,000 for Jordan and 1,000 for Syria, compared with only 700 for Israel. The Arab armies also suffered crippling losses of weaponry and equipment. The lopsidedness of the defeat demoralized both the Arab public and the political elite. Nasser announced his resignation on June 9 but quickly yielded to mass demonstrations calling for him to remain in office. In Israel, which had proved beyond question that it was the region’s preeminent military power, there was euphoria.
At a time when Arab forces posed a significant threat to Israel’s security, Israel’s preemption in the Six-Day War dealt a decisive blow to their ability to carry out threats, especially by incapacitating Egypt’s air force. Israel also captured territory held by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, none of which was recaptured by military means. Calls by the United Nations (see United Nations Resolution 242) to return these territories in exchange for lasting peace laid the foundation for the “land for peace” formula underlying the Camp David Accords peace treaty between Israel and Egypt as well as the proposed two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
- civilian suburbs of Tel-Aviv were shelled by artillery;
- Israel’s largest military airfield, Ramat David, was shelled;
- Jordanian warplanes attacked the central Israeli towns of Netanya and Kfar Sava;
- thousands of mortar shells rained down on western Jerusalem hitting civilian locations indiscriminately, including the Hadassah Hospital and the Mount
- Israel’s parliament building (the Knesset) and the Prime Minister’s office, each in Israeli-controlled western Jerusalem, were targeted;
- 20 Israelis died in these attacks; 1,000 were wounded. 900 buildings in western Jerusalem were damaged.
- “Jerusalem is totally engulfed in war…” reported the British Consul-General that morning.
- All this happened before Israel reacted militarily against Jordan, or moved at all into the West Bank.
Eshkol also advised the leading maritime powers: “Israel would stop at nothing to cancel the blockade. It is essential that President Nasser should not have any illusions.”
Nasser says the Arabs “will not accept any … coexistence with Israel. … Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel. … The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.”
May 16: The Egyptians request the removal of 3,400 U.N. Emergency Force troops from the Sinai, where they were placed after the 1956 war. U.S. intelligence sources deny any Israeli military buildup. Cairo Radio declares: “The existence of Israel has continued too long. We welcome the Israeli aggression. We welcome the battle that we have long awaited. The great hour has come. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel.”