Egypt and Jordan had been defeated, and Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip were in Israeli hands.
But the war was not over. Syria continued to shell northern Israel from its perch on the Golan Heights.
After securing the lower access points to the Golan, the Israeli army made its bid for the high ground on June 10th 1967, seeking to stop Syrian shelling of Israeli civilians once and for all. As the IDF advanced, Syrian forces fell away, abandoning their posts all the way to Kuneitra, the last Syrian stronghold. The entire Golan Heights was now in Israel’s control.
And with that, the war was over. The Arab side suffered catastrophic losses and Israel had established itself as the dominant military power in the Middle East, to the humiliation and rage of its Arab adversaries.
Threatened with imminent destruction, Israel had prevailed. It captured the Golan Heights, preventing Syria from targeting communities in northern Israel. It captured eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, preventing the Jordanians from shelling Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and giving Israel the strategic high ground and a more defensible width. Israel also took control of the entire Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, protecting Israel’s southern border and opening the waterway to Eilat, its southern port.
Israel was swept by a wave of euphoria. The small, strongly outnumbered country had won a stunning military victory and greatly increased its size to borders that could be realistically defended. It had removed the sense of constant peril Israelis had faced ever since the establishment of the state. And perhaps most acutely felt was the sense of national and historical rebirth, as Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place and capital of the ancient Jewish kingdom, was reunited under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in 2,000 years.
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