On June 5, 1967, the Six-Day War broke out, a pivotal moment in the history of Israel and the Middle East. Today, 56 years later, the effects of that conflict are still being felt and shaping the geopolitical landscape of the region.
The war was triggered by the tense relations between Israel and its neighboring countries Egypt, Jordan and Syria. In denying Israel’s right to exist, they blocked trade routes and massed their troops at the borders. Faced with an existential threat, Israel decided to launch a pre-emptive strike.
In a blitzkrieg that lasted only six days, Israel achieved a stunning military victory. Israel was not only able to secure its existence, but also significantly increased its territory. Israel managed to reunify Jerusalem and also gained control of Samaria and Judea, better known abroad as the so-called “West Bank,” the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula.
The Six-Day War had significant repercussions for Israel and the entire Middle East. Before the war, Israel was a young and struggling state. Israel’s victory made it a major regional power. The conquered areas gave Israel strategically important buffer zones that offered the country more security.
The war strengthened Israel and shaped its position in the Middle East. However, the effects of the war are still clearly felt 56 years later. The conquered areas are still a central point of conflict and the question of how a lasting peace can be achieved also remains unanswered.
Here are a few pictures from six days in June 1967:
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