A surprise attack that changed the Middle East

Israel celebrates the Six-Day War as the unification of East and West Jerusalem. Palestinians see it as a theft of their land and a gradual effort by Israelis to expand their country, leaving little to no room for a Palestinian state.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The 1967 conflict greatly empowered Israel but began its occupation of Palestinian land.

It has been 50 years since the Arab-Israeli war of June 1967, or Six-Day War, radically changed the map of the Middle East.

Between June 5 and 10, Israel, with Western support, defeated Egypt, Jordan and Syria and occupied Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Syria's Golan Heights.

The war erupted early on Monday, June 5, a morning that saw heavy Israeli bombing of Egyptian air bases near Cairo and in the Suez desert.

Although Israel has since withdrawn from Sinai and the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem have been annexed and the West Bank remains occupied by the Jewish state.

For Israelis, the war meant the culmination of the Jewish people's 2,000-year quest to return to Jerusalem.

Palestinians saw their land taken from them, as Israel extended its territory, leaving little to no room for a Palestinian state.

TRT World ’s Nicole Johnston has this report from East Jerusalem.