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This war occurred in October and November of 1956.

Initial Reason:

There were several events that led up to this war. One of these events was Egypt trying to hurt Israel's economy by setting up a blockade on the Straight of Tiran in 1953. In 1955, Egypt refused to allow the passage of any Israeli vessels or goods on foreign vessels going to and from Israel through the Suez Canal. They did this by seizing control from the private Suez Canal Corporation in which Britain was the majority owner. This move angered Britain along with violating several international agreements that governed the status of the Suez Canal.(1)

There was a lot of negative anti-Israeli statements being made by Egyptian and other Arab nations. There was also an increase in the amount of arms that Egypt was purchasing (1955), while calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Because of this illegal economic pressure, along with an increase in terrorist attacks against Israel, there was justifiable concern not only inside of Israel but in other nations as well. When Egypt announced the military buildup, Israel felt that she could not just sit by and wait to be attacked.

Start Of The War:

On October 29, 1956, Israel began an offensive to help secure the Suez by crossing over into Egyptian territories. A few days later there was a combined military campaign involving Britain and France known as operation "musketeer." Their mission was to retake control of the waterway.

Objectives For War In 1956:

Moshe Dayan is considered one of the military masterminds inside of Israel's army. He listed these three objectives for the war.

1) Freedom of shipping for Israel in the gulf of Aqaba;

2) An end to fedayeen (terrorist attacks); and,

3) A neutralization of the threat of attack on Israel by the joint Egypt-Syria-Jordan military command."(2)

End Of The War:

At 9:35 p.m. Thursday night in New York which was also 4:35 a.m. Friday on November 9th Egyptian time, Egypt's representative at the U.N. unconditionally accepted a cease-fire. Israel had lost over 3000 soldiers in a 19 day period trying to defend herself from an imminent Egyptian attack.

Israel also agreed to the cease-fire.

The canal was opened up, and Israel, along with all other countries, can now use this canal for economic commerce involving shipping vessels.

Israel also returned the land that they captured during the war. In return for this, the UNEF (United Nations Emergency Force) was created. Their purpose was to prevent the things that led to this war in the first place, such as Egypt's interference of the freedom of shipping which Israel had interpreted as an act of aggression.


Other articles of interest may include:

Read about The Messiah


1). Elusive Victory by Trevor N. Dupuy.

2). Diary of the Sinai Campaign by Moshe Dayan. p.190.

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