Naksa Day: Here’s what you need to know as Palestinians remember the 1967 Israeli occupation
This week, Palestinians mark the 52nd anniversary of Naksa Day, when Israel occupied the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War, sparking a mass exodus of Palestinians from their homes.
‘Naksa,’ or the ‘setback,’ refers to the beginning of the 1967 Six Day War on June 5, which saw Israel triple in size as it annexed East Jerusalem, took the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza strip and Sinai from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria, beginning over 50 years of occupation.Also on rt.com Imagine suggesting Jews couldn't govern themselves? Kushner's remarks on Palestinians slammed
The war saw Israel disregard the previously agreed upon Green Line borders drawn up in the 1949 armistice between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, which divided Israel from the Palestinian areas of the Jordanian-administered West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the Egypt-controlled Gaza.
Following its quick victory, Israel imposed a military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza and annexed East Jerusalem, gaining control of one million Palestinians.
An estimated 20,000 Arabs and 800 Israelis died during the short conflict and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes in areas newly-controlled by Israel.
The Six Day War
After years of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Egypt received false intelligence that Israel was moving troops to prepare to invade Syria. It sent troops to Sinai and expelled a UN peacekeeping force in response.
Although US President Lyndon Johnson urged both sides against striking, Israel began an aerial bombing of Egypt on June 5, with 200 jets striking 18 airfields, destroying almost 90 percent of Egypt’s airforce by midday, before they could strike back. It then attacked Jordan, Iraq and Syria’s airfields.
Israeli tanks and forces entered the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza strip. Egyptian soldiers defended their land, while Jordan launched an offensive overlooking south Jerusalem, but both nations were forced to retreat.
By June 7, Israel had taken over Jerusalem and the West Bank and on June 8, it controlled Egypt’s Sinai and Gaza.
Israel reached Syria’s Golan Heights on June 9 and captured it the next day. On June 10, Israel accepted a UN ceasefire and the war ended. Israel soon began building settlements in the West Bank, Sinai and the Golan Heights. It withdrew from Sinai in 1982 and from Gaza in 2005, although it maintains control of its borders.
Each year, Naksa day now sees protests in the West Bank and Gaza as Palestinians demonstrate against the occupation.
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