Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Strike Zion!

Flying in fast and low to evade Egyptian radar, the Israeli Mirage III and Super-Mystère fighters struck at dawn. All but 12 Israeli jets, kept back to defend the home front, were utilized in the operation. Almost simultaneously, 11 Egyptian airfileds were attacked, destroying over 200 planes. Several hours later, after refueling, Israel struck again destroying another 100 planes. Enjoying near complete air superiority, Israel's tank battalions and infantry began to move across the Sinai and into the Golan Heights.

Upon the outbreak of hostilities on June 5, 1967, Israel had issued strict orders to her soldiers that there was to be no firing against the Jordanians. The Israeli government had secretly pleaded with King Hussein of Jordan, to keep out of the war; but, the plea was rebuffed by the Jordanian monarch. Fearful of losing his throne and perhaps even his life, he aligned himself with the Arab coalition and put his forces under Egyptian command. Even the Jordanian attack, Israel's PM, Levi Eshkol sent a message, through an intermediary: “If you don’t intervene, you will suffer no consequences.” When two hours passed without a reply, Israeli forces struck back at Jordanian positions.

After many hours of intense fighting against Jordan's well-trained Arab Legion, Israeli troops succeeded in taking control of the roads into Jerusalem. As the long day closed, they moved into the city. The Battle for Jerusalem had now begun.

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