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Gulf News Special: Baroud on How the 1967 War Unfolded

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Israel seized Al Aqsa and annexed Jerusalem after the war of 1967. (Photo: File)

In the early months of 1967, Soviet intelligence confirmed Syria’s and Egypt’s own estimation that Israel was preparing for a major attack on Syria.

Under immense pressure, Egyptian President, Gamal Abdul Nasser, understood that his great oratory skills must translate into action, strong enough to send a message to Israel that the Arabs were prepared for war, too.

He ordered the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to withdraw some of its units between Sinai and Israel (but not units stationed in Sharm Al Shaikh). The international force insisted that a withdrawal would have to include all of its forces stationed in Sinai. Nasser obliged. Egyptian forces quickly deployed in its place.

On May 25, Nasser declared his country’s intent to block the Strait of Tiran, leading to the Gulf of Aqaba. War was all but a matter of time.

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