In the 10th video of our 12-part mini-series, experience the jubilation as the war ends and learn about the implications of Israel’s victory. Israel, small and only 19 years old, was now the Middle East’s dominant military power. It now controlled the Golan Heights, the massive Sinai desert, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the reunited city of Jerusalem, the site of the ancient Jewish Temple — Judaism’s holiest site. The result in the Arab world was humiliation and anger.
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Egypt and Jordan had been defeated, and Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip were in Israeli hands.
But the war was not over. Syria continued to shell northern Israel from its perch on the Golan Heights.
After securing the lower access points to the Golan, the Israeli army made its bid for the high ground on June 10th, seeking to stop Syrian shelling of Israeli civilians once and for all. As the IDF advanced, Syrian forces fell away, abandoning their posts all the way to Kuneitra, the last Syrian stronghold. The entire Golan Heights was now in Israel’s control.
And with that, the war was over. The Arab side suffered catastrophic losses and Israel had established itself as the dominant military power in the Middle East, to the humiliation and rage of its Arab adversaries.
Threatened with imminent destruction, Israel had prevailed. It captured the Golan Heights, preventing Syria from targeting communities in northern Israel. It captured eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, preventing the Jordanians from shelling Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and giving Israel the strategic high ground and a more defensible width. Israel also took control of the entire Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, protecting Israel’s southern border and opening the waterway to Eilat, its southern port.
Israel was swept by a wave of euphoria. The small, strongly outnumbered country had won a stunning military victory and greatly increased its size to borders that could be realistically defended. It had removed the sense of constant peril Israelis had faced ever since the establishment of the state. And perhaps most acutely felt was the sense of national and historical rebirth, as Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place and capital of the ancient Jewish kingdom, was reunited under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in 2,000 years.
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This video was produced by Jerusalem U in partnership with The Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Jewish National Fund, the Israel Action Network, the European Jewish Congress and the Center for Israel Education. For more on the dramatic events and impact of the Six Day War, visit sixdaywarproject.org.