On the biblical Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, which fell on October 6 in 1973, Israel faced one of its most dangerous tests when it came under attack from the south and north. The two-pronged offensive from Egypt and Syria came as a complete surprise to most Israelis, including Golda Meir’s government and part of the Israel Defense Forces.
There may have been numerous signs of an attack plan by Egypt and Syria, but they were not fully recognized at the highest levels in Jerusalem and in the military. The shock for Israel was all the greater because just six years earlier, Israel had crushed the armed forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the Six-Day War. Israel had also taken over land, namely the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights and the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
Radio was switched off nationwide on this, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The people fasted and prayed in the synagogue. Then the coordinated surprise attack on Israel from Egypt and Syria, which triggered a...
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