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The war started on October 6, 1973. This date was selected by the Arabs for at least two reasons. Egypt, noticed that on the Sabbath there was no TV or radio allowed to be broadcast in Israel. This made it difficult to let the people know what was going on when the war began. In addition to this, many of the soldiers were given the day off to attend worship services as Saturday is considered Israel's sabbath.

October 6th was also The Day of Atonement. This day additionally known as Yom Kippur, is the holiest day of the year for Jews. Many soldiers, including military commanders, would have been at worship services without it being the sabbath. Since Yom Kippur occurred on the sabbath that year, it became the day selected for Israel to be attacked.

The War:

Egypt and Syria, empowered by Soviet military hardware, caught Israel off guard because the attack occurred on the holiday. After the first day of war, Israel had lost position, soldiers, and military hardware. Before the war was over, both Iraq and Saudi Arabia also sent troops to fight against Israel.

As the war went on, Israel was able to regain the position that it had lost.

View Map of the original attack.

End Of The War:

United Nations' troops arrived on December 28 1973, and began to establish themselves between Israel and Egypt to help enforce one of the many agreed-upon cease-fires.

As a result of U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger's negotiations, both sides (Israel and Egypt) reached a comprehensive disengagement agreement on January 17, 1974.

Syria continued small terrorist attacks like the one on May 15, 1974, where an Israeli school was taken over in Maalot and 20 school children were killed.(1)

Later, on May 30, 1974,  Kissinger was able to help negotiate a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Syria. This was signed in Geneva on May 31, 1974.

When a cease-fire was finally agreed upon,  Israel had recovered the land she had lost to Syria and also gained control over Mt. Hermon.


This war is also known as the War of Ramadan.

Other articles of interest may include:


1). Elusive Victory by Trevor N. Dupuy

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