Tuesday, June 05, 2007


5 JUNE 1967


Seven to eight Egyptian division, two of them armoured, now deployed in Sinai: 200 tanks opposite Eilat, with the aim of cutting off the Southern Negev. Along Israel's Eastern border: 60,000 Jordanian soldiers and 300 tanks. The Jordanian army placed under Egyptian command units, as well as Iraq forces which had entered its territory. On Israel's Northern border with Syria, 50,000 Syrian soldiers dug in, fortified and protected by concrete and steel. Some 600 Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi planes ready.

War broke out on 5 June when Israel responded to the Egyptian military build-up by launching a surprise attack on Egypt’s air force, destroying most of it on the ground within a matter of hours.

That same morning, Israel sent a message to Jordan’s leader King Hussein via the US State Department, the UN and the British Foreign Office, saying that, despite the outbreak of war, it would not attack the West Bank if Jordan maintained quiet on that front.

Jordan ignored Israel’s appeal to avoid conflict.

That morning, King Hussein received false information from Egypt denying Egyptian losses and claiming a massive and successful Egyptian attack against Israel. Emboldened by this information, Jordan launched immediate multiple attacks on Israel:-

* civilian suburbs of Tel-Aviv were shelled by artillery;
* Israel’s largest military airfield, Ramat David, was shelled;
* Jordanian warplanes attacked the central Israeli towns of Netanya and Kfar Sava;
* thousands of mortar shells rained down on West Jerusalem hitting civilian locations indiscriminately, including the Hadassah Hospital and the Mount Zion Church;
* Israel’s parliament building (the Knesset) and the Prime Minister’s office, each in Israeli-controlled West Jerusalem, were targeted;
* 20 Israelis died in these attacks; 1000 were wounded. 900 buildings in West Jerusalem were damaged.
* “Jerusalem is totally engulfed in war…” reported the British Consul-General that morning.

All this happened before Israel reacted militarily against Jordan, or moved at all into the West Bank.

NOTE: Israel’s entry into the West Bank in June 1967 was not part of a premeditated Israeli plan for territorial expansion. Quite the opposite: Israel’s own Defence Minister instructed the army not to fight the Jordanians, or move into the West Bank. That position only changed as a result of Jordan’s disregard for Israeli appeals to avoid hostilities, and by its intensive bombardment of Israeli targets. Israel’s entry into the West Bank was an act of self-defence. Its presence there originates as a result, not of Israeli aggression, but of Jordanian aggression.

About 10,000 people filled the Albert Hall last night for a demonstration of solidarity with Israel. They heard speeches from members of the three main British parliamentary parties, from Dr. Immanuel Jakoboits, the Chief Rabbi, from Sir Barnet Janner, MP, president of the Zionist Federation, and from Mr. Donald Silk, chairman of the federation, which organized the rally. - The Times

[From http://www.sixdaywar.co.uk/index.htm].

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