• Annemeet Hasidi-van Der Leij

Day one of the six day war of 1967.


In the early morning of June 5th, Israel launched a preemptive aerial strike on Egyptian air force bases in response to Egypt’s ongoing provocations. Every military jet in the Israeli Air Force, except for 12, took off, flying low to avoid radar detection and observing complete radio silence. They bombed and incapacitated the runways of 11 Egyptian air force bases, as well as the aircrafts on the ground.

In just four hours, Israel demolished two thirds of the entire Egyptian air force, the largest in the Arab world.

Israel then issued a final offer to Jordan: if you stay out of the war, Israel will not retaliate - even though that meant that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and other Jewish holy sites would remain under Jordanian control.

But Jordan had received disinformation from Egypt, claiming massive, successful attacks inside Israel, and Jordan joined the war against Israel.

Thousands of mortar shells rained down on Jewish areas in Jerusalem, hitting civilian locations including Hadassah Hospital and Mount Zion church. Controlling the highlands of the West Bank, Jordan easily shelled civilian targets all the way to Tel Aviv and carried out airstrikes against the coastal cities of Netanya and Kfar Saba.

Syria and Iraq also joined the war, targeting Haifa’s oil refineries and Jewish communities beneath the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights.

srael retaliated and attacked Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraqi air bases. Stretched thin in a war on three fronts - Egypt in the south, Jordan in the east, and Syria in the north - it would soon be clear whether Israel’s military would hold, or break.

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