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This article is about the Arab–Israeli war in 1967. For the Rwandan–Ugandan conflict around Kisangani, see Six-Day War (2000). For the insurgency in the New Territories, Hong Kong, see Six-Day War (1899).

The Six-Day War (Hebrew: מלחמת ששת הימים, Milhemet Sheshet Ha Yamim; Arabic: النكسة, an-Naksah, "The Setback" or حرب ۱۹٦۷, Ḥarb 1967, "War of 1967"), also known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt (known at the time as the United Arab Republic), Jordan, and Syria.

Relations between Israel and its neighbours had never fully normalized following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and in the period leading up to June 1967 tensions became dangerously heightened. As a result, following the mobilisation of Egyptian forces along the Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula, Israel launched a series of preemptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields on June 5. The Egyptians, whose defensive infrastructure was in a poor state, were caught by surprise and virtually the entire Egyptian air force was destroyed with few Israeli losses, giving the Israelis air superiority. Simultaneously, the Israelis launched a ground offensive into the Gaza strip and through the northern and central routes of the Sinai, which again caught the Egyptians by surprise. After some initial resistance, the Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, ordered the evacuation of the Sinai. On June 6 and 7, Israeli forces rushed westward in pursuit of the Egyptians whose retreat was disorganized and chaotic. The Israelis inflicted heavy losses on the retreating Egyptian forces. By June 7 the Israelis had reached the Suez Canal and had taken Sharm el Sheikh in the south of the peninsula. Conquest of the Sinai was completed on June 8 when Israeli forces reached the peninsula's western coast.

On June 5, Nasser had induced Syria and Jordan to begin attacks on Israel by using the initially confused situation to claim that Egypt had defeated the Israeli air strike. In the afternoon of June 5, Israel retaliated against Jordan by launching an offensive to encircle East Jerusalem. Initially, Israeli forces held back from moving into the Old City for a number of reasons including potentially negative international reaction. However, on June 7 the Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan, gave the order to attack. After heavy fighting, the Israelis completed the conquest of the city later that day. Also on June 7, Israeli forces seized the West Bank cities of Nablus and Bethlehem from the Jordanians. When King Hussein ordered the Jordanian forces to retreat across the River Jordan, the Israeli forces occupied the rest of the West Bank unopposed. Israel's retaliation against Syria on June 5 took the form of an air strike in the evening which destroyed two-thirds of the Syrian air force, giving the Israelis air superiority over the Syrians. On June 9, Dayan ordered a ground invasion of the Golan Heights. Despite an extensive fortifications system and heavy fighting, the Israelis broke through the Syrian first line of defense. By June 10, Israeli forces had taken the Golan plateau and the Syrians had retreated eastward behind the ceasefire "purple line".

On June 11, a ceasefire was signed. Arab casualties were far heavier than that of Israel: less than a thousand Israelis had been killed compared to over 20,000 from the Arab forces. Israel's military success was attributable to the element of surprise, an innovative and well executed battle plan and the poor quality and leadership of the Arab forces. Israel seized control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula (from Egypt), the West Bank and East Jerusalem (from Jordan) and the Golan Heights (from Syria). The area under Israeli control tripled, significantly contributing to the country's defensibility, as would be shown in the subsequent Yom Kippur War. Although Israeli morale and international prestige was greatly increased by the outcome of the war, the resulting displacement of civilian populations would have long-term consequences. 300,000 Palestinians fled the West Bank and about 100,000 Syrians left the Golan to become refugees. Across the Arab world, Jewish minority communities were expelled. Israel made peace with Egypt following the Camp David Accords of 1978 and completeď a staged withdrawal from the Sinai in 1982. However, the position of the other occupied territories became a long-standing and bitter cause of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and the Arab world in general.


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