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EGYPT

Egypt Through the Ages

Wars of the 1960s

   

 

In 1962 Egypt became embroiled in a civil war in Yemen, backing a republican movement against monarchist forces. This venture cost lives and money and left the country weakened. In 1967 Nasser, continuing the Arab struggle against Israel, closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping and requested that the UN forces be withdrawn from the border. The Israelis, believing that Nasser was preparing for war, struck first, attacking and destroying Egyptian airfields and positions in the Sinai. Israeli forces advanced until they reached the right bank of the Suez Canal. This Six-Day War left Israel in possession of the whole Sinai Peninsula. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 242, which emphasized the “inadmissibility of acquiring territory by war” and called for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories. Israel read the resolution as withdrawal from “some territories” and continued to occupy the Sinai. When negotiations seemed to be leading nowhere, Nasser turned to the USSR, which rearmed Egypt in return for a naval base.

Nasser died suddenly in 1970. Problems of succession to the post of president were settled when Vice President Anwar al-Sadat, a long-time colleague of Nasser, was chosen to succeed him.

 

 

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