During the early months of 1966, it became clear that Israel's neighbors were escalating activities against her. More and more Israeli civilians were killed in attacks coming from the Syrian and Jordanian borders. The Syrians, from atop the Golan Heights, shelled Israeli towns indiscriminately. On May 15, 1967, Egyptian forces moved into the Sinai (1).

On May 18, Egypt expelled the U.N. Peacekeeping forces from Israel's borders.

On the 22nd, the Egyptians closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.

On the 25th, encouraged by Egypt - Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia moved their troops to Israel's borders.

Two days later, on the 26th of May, President Nasser of Egypt declared, "Our basic goal is the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight.... The mining of Sharm El Sheik is a confrontation with Israel" (2).

Modelled after the November 1966 Egyptian-Syrian "defence" pact, other pacts were signed by Egypt with Jordan and Iraq on May 30th and June 4th, thereby completing the encirclement of Israel (3).

1. Ironically, Egypts move was, in part, in reaction to false Soviet information passed to Syria according to which Israel had mobilized forces on her border with Syria in preparation for an invasion of Syria. See Ahron Bregman, A History of Israel, (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pg. 106.
2. For the full text of Nasser's speech, see Laqueur, op. cit., pp. 175-185 
3. For details on the Arab military buildup on the eve of the Six Day War, see Sachar, History of Israel, pp. 632-635.




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16 Apr 2015 / 27 Nisan 5775 0