Arab-Israeli wars

Arab-Israeli wars

Series of military conflicts fought between various Arab countries and Israel (1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1969–70, 1973, and 1982). The first war (1948–49) began when Israel declared itself an independent state following the United Nations' partition of Palestine. Protesting this move, five Arab countries—Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria—attacked Israel. The conflict ended with Israel gaining considerable territory. The 1956 Suez Crisis began after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. A French, British, and Israeli coalition attacked Egypt and occupied the canal zone but soon withdrew under international pressure. In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel attacked Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The war ended with the Israel occupying substantial amounts of Arab territory. An undeclared war of attrition (1969–70) was fought between Egypt and Israel along the Suez Canal and ended with the help of international diplomacy. Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in 1973 (the Yom Kippur War), but, despite early Arab success, the conflict ended inconclusively. In 1979 Egypt made peace with Israel. In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon in order to expel Palestinian guerrillas based there. Israel withdrew from most of Lebanon by 1985 but maintained a narrow buffer zone inside that country until 2000. See also Yasir 'Arafat; Hafiz al-Assad; Menachem Begin; David Ben-Gurion; Camp David Accords; Moshe Dayan; Hezbollah; Gamal Abdel Nasser; Yitzhak Rabin; Sabra and Shatila massacres; Anwar el-Sadat.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Arab-Israeli wars, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Arab-Israeli wars? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More