In Pictures: The Six-Day War that changed Palestinian history

It’s been 50 years since Israel occupied Palestine’s West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Photo by: Getty Images
Photo by: Getty Images

Palestinian refugees made do with blankets and few belongings in the refugee camps of Wadi Dlails, one month after the Six-Day War. In the background, the tents of the camp. Jordan, July 1967.

Here's how the Six-Day War unfolded: 

The Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War, June 1967, Getty Images. June 5 marks the beginning of the Six- Day War. Relations between Israel and its neighbours had never fully normalised following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israel reiterated its 1950s statement that the closure of the Straits of Tiran for its ships would be a casus belli (case for war). But in late May, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced that he would close the straits to Israeli vessels, then mobilised its forces along its border with Israel. Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt's air force, beginning the war.

Between June 5 and June 11, Israel defeated Egypt, Jordan, and Syria and stamped its flag over East Jerusalem, Gaza, West Bank, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Syria’s Golan Heights.

Palestinians refer to the occasion as "the Naksa", or "the Setback", as a result of Israel’s expansion of its military occupation and the humiliating defeat of the Arab nations who had intervened.

In six days, Israel had occupied three times more territory in the region than it did after the 1948 war, which had driven 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland. The 1948 exodus came to be known by the Palestinians as "the Nakba" or "the Catastrophe".

In the aftermath of the Six-Day War, about 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians fled their homes.

In the same year, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242, which legitimised the territories occupied by Israel before 1967 as Israeli while defining the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem as “Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Israel’s gains resulted in Jewish communities establishing settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.


TRTWorld and agencies