Sinai Peninsula

Topics: Israel, Egypt, Six-Day War Pages: 3 (1047 words) Published: July 17, 2013
“In 1956, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, a waterway marking the boundary between Egyptian territory in Africa and the Sinai Peninsula. Thereafter, Israeli ships were prohibited from using the Canal, owing to the state of war between the two states. Egypt also prohibited ships from using Egyptian territorial waters on the eastern side of the peninsula to travel to and from Israel, effectively imposing a blockade on the Israeli port of Eilat. Subsequently, in what is known in Egypt as the Tripartite Aggression, Israeli forces, aided by Britain, and France, invaded Sinai and occupied much of the peninsula within a few days. Several months later Israel withdrew its forces from Sinai, following strong pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union. Thereafter, the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) was stationed in Sinai to prevent any military occupation of the Sinai. In 1967, Egypt reinforced its military presence in Sinai, changed the prohibition of Israeli shipping using Egyptian territorial waters and on May 16, ordered the UNEF out of Sinai with immediate effect. Secretary-General U Thant eventually complied and ordered the withdrawal without Security Council authorization. Subsequent to Egyptian actions, Israel attacked Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, starting the Six-Day War. Israel captured the entire Sinai Peninsula, and Palestine's Strip from Egypt, the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan (which it had ruled since 1949), and the Golan Heights from Syria. The Suez Canal, the east bank of which was now occupied by Israel, was closed. Israel expelled thousands of Egyptians from Sinai, and commenced efforts at large scale Israeli settlement in the peninsula, concurrently with similar settlement in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights. Following the Israeli conquest of Sinai, Egypt launched the War of Attrition aimed at forcing Israel to withdraw from Egyptian territory. The war saw protracted conflict in the Suez Canal...
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