A Nation in Uniform Israel’s security problems 1949-1977
The way To Suez 1949-1956 • Infiltrators become Fedayeen and attack Israel’s cities and settlements. They are sponsored by Egyptian Intelligence • Israel responds with retaliatory raids. The tension between Israel and the Arab states increases. • Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt (1954), leads a Pan Arabist and Anti colonial ideology. The West sees him as a threat • Czech arms deal (1955) changes the balance of power. The Egyptians blockade the Tiran Straits • Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal
The Suez War – October 1956 • Israel joins Britain and France to fight against Nasser regime by attacking the Suez Canal. • Israel drops paratroopers at the Mitla Pass, giving its allies the pretext for a call to an Egyptian and Israeli withdrawal from the canal • Egyptian refusal causes launch of British-French Attack - “Operation Musketeer”. Israeli troops succeed in destroying Fadyeen bases in the Gaza strip and take over all the Sinai Peninsula in 100 hours. France and Britain face difficulties and Nasser stays in power. • Soviet’s threat to intervene causes the Americans to force a cease fire and an immediate withdrawal. Israel freedom of navigation in Tiran Straits is guaranteed.
The Drift to the Six Days War – 1967 • Syrian’s Headwater Diversion Plan (in order to cut Israel water supply) attracts Israeli attacks and escalates tension in the region • Due to a false Soviet intelligence report, about a forthcoming Israeli invasion of Syria, Egyptian troops enter the de-militarized Sinai Peninsula, forcing out UN peace forces (May 15, 1967). • Few days later the Egyptians closed the Tiran Straits– defined by Israel as a Casus Belli since 1957. • Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Egypt sign a mutual defense treaty. Nasser declares his intention to wipe out Israel.
The Israeli Fear • Nasser (end of May 1967): “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel ... to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not of more declarations."
Six Days of War - June 5-10 1967 • Due to the failure of an American – British attempt to find a diplomatic solution, Israel decides to launch a pre-emptive air attack. • Arabs Air forces are destroyed on the ground, giving Israel air superiority. • Israel launches an attack on Egyptians troops in Sinai, and reached to Suez Canal in 4 days (June 5-8). • False Egyptian victory reports convince King Hussein of Jordan to attack Israel. Although IDF's strategic plan was to remain on the defensive along the Jordanian front, Israeli reserve forces strike back and take over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (June 6-8). • After a Syrian ground attack and massive artillery bombings, Israel forces take control of the Golan Heights (June 9-10).
After the Six Days War • Khartoum Resolution (meeting between Arab leaders, 9/1967): No peace with Israel, No recognition of Israel, No negotiations with it • U.N Security Council Resolution 242 (11/1967): “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; Termination of all claims or states of belligerency… every State in the area [has a] right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries” Land for Peace formula.” • War of Attrition (1968-1970) – Nasser initiative to exhaust Israel ends after 17 months of bombardments with 367 Israeli casualties and about 10,000 Egyptian casualties. The borders stay the same
The Yom Kippur War 1973 • Surprise attack by Egypt and Syria. • Israel is caught unprepared and the Arab armies gain territory • After the recruiting of reserve units, Israel strikes back. • In the Golan Heights, Israel gets as far as 25 Miles from Damascus. • Israel forces cross the Suez Canal and get 60 Miles from Cairo, while entrapping the Egyptian 3rd Army. • Regardless of the military results, the war perceived in Israel as a failure, and in Egypt as a victory.
The peace process with Egypt 1977 • After the Yom Kippur War, direct talks between Israel and Egypt (first time since 48) bring armistice and later a separation of forces. • The dynamic of talks and the change of government in Israel, bring the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, to declare his willingness to visit Israel and talk peace (11/1977). • With American involvement the Camp David Accord (and later on a peace agreement in 1979) is signed. Israel withdraws from every Inch of Sinai, but the peninsula will stay de-militarized. • Other Arab states and the PLO refuse to join the talks. Egypt is condemned by the Arab world.