The modern State of Israel has been in a perpetual conflict with its Arab neighbors since Israel declared independence in 1948. At the core of the conflict is the Arab countries’ refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Here is a brief outline of Israel news and wars.
- 1948 War of Independence: The day after Israel declared independence, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq attacked Israel’s borders.
- 1956 Sinai War: In 1956, Israel fought to halt terrorist infiltration into Israel and to stop the illegal Egyptian blockade of Eilat. The war began on October 29th when the Israeli paratroopers parachuted into the Milta Pass near the Suez Canal.
- 1967 Six Day War: The Six Day War was launched in response to numerous provocations, including: Egypt mobilized 100,000 troops in the Sinai Peninsula, expelled U.N. peace keeping forces, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and signed an agreement in which Egypt came to control Syrian troops. On June 5th 1967, Israel launched a successful air strike on the Egyptian air forces and within just 190 minutes had delivered a severe blow to the Egyptian fleet. Within just six days, Israel managed to seize control of much of the Sinai dessert, parts of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria on the Western bank the Jordan River and the Old City of Jerusalem including the Western Wall. 776 Israeli soldiers fell in battle.
- War of Attrition: Egypt launched this war shortly after the Six Day War and it continued up until 1970. Egypt, with Russian support, and Israel exchanged artillery fire along the Bar Lev Line on the Suez Canal. Between 1967-1970, 1,424 Israeli soldiers were killed in action until the U.S. and the Soviets brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Egypt.
- 1973 Yom Kippur War: The war broke out on October 6, 1973 when Syria and Egypt launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. While initially Israel’s enemies made significant gains, the tide quickly turned and Israel gained the upper hand, despite suffering heavy losses in the fierce fighting; 2,668 Israeli soldiers fell in action.
- The Lebanon War: In 1982, Israel launched Operation Peace for The Galilee in response to relentless terrorist attacks—which violated a 1981 ceasefire agreement—against communities in northern Israel. The first part of the war lasted about two and a half months and resulted in Israel expelling the terrorists from Beirut. The second phase of the war continued for about three years and continued to target the terrorists.
- The Second Lebanon War: In July 2006, the war broke out after the terrorist group, Hezbollah, killed eight IDF soldiers, kidnapped two more, and began launching what was to total more than 3,970 ketusha rockets at Israel. Until a ceasefire went into effect in August, 117 IDF soldiers and 43 civilians were killed in the war, and 4,262 Israelis were treated in hospitals for injuries from the rocket attacks.
In addition to these major wars, Israel also faced additional conflicts in the form of two extended intifadas (1987-1993 and 2000-2005) and numerous military operations, including this past summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
For additional information, and to see the wars through maps, check out this site: http://unitedwithisrael.org/