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Contrary to Israel’s hopes and the assumptions of its allies, Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip after the Sinai Campaign of 1956 was not followed by the true peace. Emboldened by diplomatic and military support from the Soviet Union, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the president of Egypt, and his associates continued to declare their aim to destroy Israel. These threats were accompanied by increasingly serious Arab incursions into Israel from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, and Israeli border villages were constantly shelled by Arab artillery. In the middle of May 1967, Nasser began to move Egyptian troops and Russian-supplied armor into the Sinai Peninsula for an all-out invasion of Israel and summarily evicted the UN Emergency Force which had been stationed in Sinai and in the Gaza Strip. Next, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and cargoes. On May 30, Nasser signed an anti-Israel pact with the Kingdom of Jordan and on June 4 with Iraq. Surrounded by enemies and unable to obtain support from the UN and the friendly powers who had promised to guarantee her security, Israel had no other choice but to strike back at her enemies. On June 5, 1967, Israel destroyed most of Egypt’s air force on the ground. With Egypt’s air power neutralized, Israel’s forces moved forward and by June 8 had reached the Suez Canal. In the meantime, Israeli troops had repulsed a Jordanian attack, and by June 7 had taken the sector of Jerusalem that had been occupied by Jordan in 1948. For the first time since 1948, Jews were able to worship at the Western Wall. Next, Israeli forces stormed and occupied the Syrian fortifications in the Golan Heights which had posed a constant threat to Israeli border settlements. By June 11, Egypt, Jordan and Syria had agreed to a ceasefire.

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