Majdal Shams is a Druze town in the southern foothills of Mt. Hermon, north of the Golan Heights; the majority of residents are of Syrian-Druze origin. Since the June 1967 Six-Day War, the village has been controlled by Israel, first under martial law, but since the adoption of the 1981 Golan Heights Law under Israeli civil law, incorporated into the Israeli system of local councils. Majdal Shams is the largest of the four remaining Druze-Syrian communities on the Israeli-occupied side of Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights, together with Ein Qiniyye, Mas'ade and Buq'ata. Geologically and geographically a distinction is made between the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon, the boundary being marked by the Sa'ar Stream. Majdal Shams and Ein Qiniyye are on the Hermon side of the boundary, thus sitting on limestone, while Buq'ata and Mas'ade are on the Golan side, characterised by black volcanic rock; the name Majdal Shams is of Aramaic origin, meaning: "tower of sun," in reference to the town's elevation.
Another hypothesis suggests that the town was called Majdal al-Sham to distinguish it from the towns of al-Majdal on the Mediterranean coast and al-Majdal on the Sea of Galilee. According to one version, Majdal Shams was established in 1595 by Druze warlord Fakhr-al-Din II, in order to strengthen Druze presence in the Hermon mount. Another version says that the Druze families began to settle on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon in the early 18th century. By the late 19th century, Majdal Shams was an important regional center and home of the local Ottoman administrator. In times of strife, residents of the surrounding villages travelled to Majdal Shams for safety because of the village's elevation and proximity to a major water source at Birkat Ram. During the winter of 1895, for example, Druze residents of neighboring communities sheltered in Majdal Shams during a local conflict between irregular Druze and Circassian militias. In the late 19th century and Europeans began visiting Majdal Shams.
In 1870, missionaries associated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America opened a school and church in the town. The mission school operated until 1885. Majdal Shams attracted foreign geologists such as William Libbey because of the town's proximity to an exposed strata of Jurassic-era fossils. Fossils excavated at Majdal Shams were acquired by the American University of Beirut and Harvard University; some travelers wrote vivid descriptions of Majdal Shams. Herbert Rix visited the town around 1907, commented that "The whole place swarms with children, many of them are so pretty that the traveller is at first attracted to them." James Kean, who wrote about the town in the 1890s, described Majdal Shams as a "remarkable village" and noted that it was "famous for the manufacture of steel blades." Workshops in Majdal Shams continued to make souvenir daggers for European tourists until the 1950s. Majdal Shams played a significant role in the Great Syrian Revolt of 1925–1927. In October 1925, a few months after Syrian Druze had begun fighting French forces in the nearby province of Jabal al-Duruz, a group of the town's Druze residents looted local Christian property.
Mandate authorities sent troops to restore order, community leaders contacted the central command of the revolt for assistance defending the town against the French. In response, rebel leader Zaid al-Atrash led a force of 1,000 men to Majdal Shams. Zaid al-Atrash drove French troops from the area and established a rebel garrison in Majdal Shams to guard the road between Damascus and Marjayoun; the garrison housed up to 10,000 rebels until April 1926, when French forces launched a renewed attack on the town. During the assault, French soldiers destroyed much of Majdal Shams and killed 80 residents of the town. Beginning in the 1930s, Majdal Shams residents and community leaders became involved in political developments in nearby Mandatory Palestine. During the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine, traditional leader Assad Kanj Abu Salah proposed forming a local militia to assist the rebels; the plan did not come to fruition. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Abu Salah's son Sultan formed a militia of 300 local men.
The militia offered to serve as paid mercenaries for Zionist forces, but volunteered with Palestinian and Arab forces. Majdal Shams was integrated into economic networks that extended into Lebanon and other parts of Syria; the town traded local grapes for olives grown in 50 kilometers to the south. Men from Majdal Shams harvested cedar wood in Lebanon, which they manufactured into plows and sold in as-Suwayda. In the 1950s, some local residents travelled to Lebanon to work in construction. Residents of Majdal Shams received access to Syrian state services. By the 1960s, there was a public elementary school in Majdal Shams. Residents registered marriages at the court in Quneitra; these institutions served to integrate the community into state. Since the June 1967 Six-Day War, Majdal Shams has been under Israeli control. During the 1967 Six Day War, residents of the nearby towns of Ain Fit, Jubata ez-Zeit, Za'ura took shelter in Majdal Shams. After Israeli forces had secured the area, soldiers forced refugees across the ceasefire line into Syrian controlled territory, but permitted residents of Majdal Shams and a few other communities to remain in their homes.
As Israel and Syria fortified
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Green Line (Israel)
The Green Line, or 1967 border or 1949 Armistice border, is the demarcation line set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between the armies of Israel and those of its neighbors after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. It served as the de facto borders of the State of Israel from 1949 until the Six-Day War in 1967; the name comes from the green ink used to draw the line on the map while the armistice talks were going on. After the Six-Day War, the territories captured by Israel beyond the Green Line came to be designated as East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula; these territories are referred to as Israeli-occupied territories. The Green Line was intended as a demarcation line rather than a permanent border; the 1949 Armistice Agreements were clear. The Egyptian–Israeli agreement, for example, stated that "the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, is delineated without prejudice to rights and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question."
Similar provisions are contained in the Armistice Agreements with Syria. The Agreement with Lebanon contained no such provisions, was treated as the international border between Israel and Lebanon, stipulating only that forces would be withdrawn to the Israel–Lebanon border; the Green Line is referred to as the "pre-1967 borders" or the "1967 borders" by many international bodies and national leaders, including the former United States president, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, by the United Nations in informal texts, in the text of UN General Assembly Resolutions. The Green Line refers to the demarcation lines, rather than permanent borders, between Israeli forces and those of its neighbors. All movement across the demarcation lines was banned and monitored by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization. Most the term was applied to the boundary between Jordan-controlled Jerusalem and the West Bank and Israel; the drawing of the Green Line superseded the partition lines proposed and voted on by the United Nations in the Partition Plan of 1947 and which Israel had accepted in the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
The Palestinian and Arab leaders had rejected any permanent partition of Mandatory Palestine. In 1967, after Israel seized all the territories, other than the Emirate of Transjordan, of the former Mandatory Palestine, as well as other territories, the demarcation lines became militarily irrelevant, the status of the Green Line became uncertain. Although Israel has always formally argued that the Green Line has no legal significance, the Green Line continued to have political and administrative significance. Israel regarded the territories beyond the Green Line, unlike those within the Green Line, as occupied territories, they were not incorporated into Israeli political and civilian administrative systems; the territories beyond the Green Line were administered by the Israeli military or also by the Palestinian Authority. Citizenship by residence, for example, was determined with reference to the Green Line, as well as a person's refugee status; the extension of the municipality boundary of Jerusalem in 1980 was an exception to this position.
Although Jerusalem was a part of territory beyond the Green Line, ruled by Jordan until 1967, Israel declared Jerusalem "complete and united" as the capital of Israel according to the 1980 Basic Jerusalem Law. This claim has not been recognised by the United Nations Security Council. A notional Green Line continues to divide Jerusalem at the boundary of East Jerusalem; the Golan Heights are another exception, having been informally incorporated by Israel with the 1981 Golan Heights Law. The UN Security Council declared this to be null and without any international legal effect; the sections of the Green Line that delineate the boundaries between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza run through populated regions. The Line corresponds to the military front of the 1948 War, while the considerations dictating its placement were military, it soon became clear that in many places it divided towns and villages, separated farmers from their fields; the Green Line underwent various slight adjustments, special arrangements were made for limited movement in certain areas.
Jerusalem was divided into East and West Jerusalem. The village of Barta'a due to errors on the map, was left with one third of its area on the Israeli side and two thirds outside of it. Kibbutz Ramat Rachel was left entirely outside the Israeli side of the Green Line. According to Avi Shlaim, in March 1949 as the Iraqi forces withdrew and handed over their positions to the Jordanian legion, Israel carried out Operation Shin-Tav-Shin which allowed Israel to renegotiate the cease fire line in the Wadi Ara area of the northern West Bank in a secret agreement, incorporated into the General Armistice Agreement; the Green Line was redrawn in blue ink on the southern map to give the impression that a movement in the green line had been made. During the war in 1947–48, Jews residing east of the Line, including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, were taken prisoner by the Jordanians. All but a few of the Gush Etzion defenders were massacred; the prisoners were returned to Israel after the war. On July 8, 1948, the Jewish inhabitants of Kfar Darom and Naharayim were evacuated by Israel due to military pressure by Egypt and Jordan.
Israel withdrew from villages in the Lebanese Upper
Armoured warfare, mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war; the premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate conventional defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units. Much of the application of armoured warfare depends on the use of tanks and related vehicles used by other supporting arms such as infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, other combat vehicles, as well as mounted combat engineers and other support units; the doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front, return to the 19th century school of thought that advocated manoeuvre and "decisive battle" outcomes in military strategy. Modern armoured warfare began during the First World War with the need to break the tactical and strategic stalemates forced on commanders on the Western Front by the effectiveness of entrenched defensive infantry armed with machine guns—known as trench warfare.
Under these conditions, any sort of advance was very slow and caused massive casualties. The development of the tank was motivated by the need to return manoeuvre to warfare, the only practical way to do so was to provide caterpillar traction to guns allowing them to overcome trenches while at the same time offering them armour protection against small arms fire as they were moving. Tanks were first developed in Britain and France in 1915, as a way of navigating the barbed wire and other obstacles of no-man's land while remaining protected from machine-gun fire. British Mark I tanks first went to action at the Somme, on 15 September 1916, but did not manage to break the deadlock of trench warfare; the first French employment of tanks, on 16 April 1917, using the Schneider CA, was a failure. In the Battle of Cambrai British tanks were more successful, broke a German trenchline system, the Hindenburg Line. Despite the unpromising beginnings, the military and political leadership in both Britain and France during 1917 backed large investments into armoured vehicle production.
This led to a sharp increase in the number of available tanks for 1918. The German Empire to the contrary, produced only a few tanks, late in the war. Twenty German A7V tanks were produced during the entire conflict, compared to over 4,400 French and over 2,500 British tanks of various kinds. Nonetheless, World War I saw the first tank-versus-tank battle, during the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918, when a group of three German A7V tanks engaged a group of three British Mark IV tanks they accidentally met. After the final German Spring Offensives of 1918, Entente tanks were used in mass at the Battle of Soissons and Battle of Amiens, which ended the stalemate imposed by trench warfare on the Western Front, thus ended the war. Tactically, the deployment of armour during the war was typified by a strong emphasis on direct infantry support; the tank's main tasks were seen as crushing barbed wire and destroying machine-gun nests, facilitating the advance of foot soldiers. Theoretical debate focused on the question whether a "swarm" of light tanks should be used for this or a limited number of potent heavy vehicles.
Though in the Battle of Cambrai a large concentration of British heavy tanks effected a breakthrough, it was not exploited by armour. The manoeuvrability of the tank should at least in theory regain armies the ability to flank enemy lines. In practice, tank warfare during most of World War I was hampered by the technical immaturity of the new weapon system causing mechanical failure, limited numbers, general underutilisation, a low speed and a short range. Strategic use of tanks was slow to develop during and after World War I due to these technical limitations but due to the prestige role traditionally accorded to horse-mounted cavalry. An exception, on paper, was the Plan 1919 of Colonel John Fuller, who envisaged using the expected vast increase in armour production during 1919 to execute deep strategic penetrations by mechanised forces consisting of tanks and infantry carried by lorries, supported by aeroplanes, to paralyse the enemy command structure. Following the First World War, the technical and doctrinal aspects of armoured warfare became more sophisticated and diverged into multiple schools of doctrinal thought.
During the 1920s, only few tanks were produced. There were however, important technical developments. Various British and French commanders who had contributed to the origin of the tank, such as Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, B. H. Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller, theorised about a possible future use of independent armoured forces, containing a large concentration of tanks, to execute deep strategic penetrations. Liddell Hart wrote many books about the subject propagating Fuller's theories; such doctrines were faced with the reality that during the 1920s the armoured vehicles, as early road transport in general, were unreliable, could not be used in sustained operations. Mainstream thought on the subject was more conservative and tried to integrate armoured vehicles into the existing infantry and cavalry organisation and tactics. Technical development focussed on the improvement of the suspension system and engine, to create vehicles that were faster, more reliable and had a better range than their WW I predecessors.
To save weight, such designs had thin armour plating and this inspired fitting small-calibre high-velocity guns in turrets, giving tanks a good antitank capacity. Both France and Britain built specialised infantry tanks, more armoured to provide infantry
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had withdrawn from Lebanon. By September 2018 Israel completed 11 kilometers of a concrete barrier along its border with Lebanon designed to protect Israeli communities from Hezbollah infiltrations. On 11 March 1978 Palestine Liberation Organization operatives, led by Dalal Mugrabi, carried out the Coastal Road massacre within Israel which resulted in the deaths of 37 Israelis, including 13 children. In response, Israeli forces invaded southern Lebanon from which the PLO operated during the 1970s. Starting on the night of March 14–15 and culminating a few days Israel Defense Forces troops occupied the entire southern part of the country except for the city of Tyre and its surrounding area; this operation is known in Israel as Operation Litani. On 15 March 1978 the Lebanese government submitted a strong protest to the United Nations Security Council against the Israeli invasion, stating that it had no connection with the Palestinian operation.
On 19 March 1978 the Council adopted Resolution 425, in which it called upon Israel to cease its military action and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory. It established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon; the first UNIFIL troops arrived in the area on 23 March 1978. The Blue Line is based on the deployment of the IDF prior to 14 March 1978, it should not be confused with the Green Line, established in 1949, the armistice line of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The 1949 line is in turn the same as the 1923 Mandate Line, the border between French- and British-mandated territory; the 1949 agreement stated. In 1923, 38 boundary markers were placed along the 49 mile border and a detailed text description was published; the 2000 Blue Line differs in about a half dozen short stretches from the 1949 line, though never by more than 475 meters. Borders are negotiated between countries, between 1950 and 1967 Israeli and Lebanese surveyors managed to complete 25 non-contiguous kilometers and mark another quarter of the international border.
On 17 April 2000, when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced that Israel would begin withdrawing its forces from Lebanon, the Lebanese government did not want to take part in marking the border. The UN thus conducted its own survey based on the line discussed in United Nations Security Council Resolution 425. On 25 May 2000 the government of Israel notified the Secretary-General that Israel had redeployed its forces in compliance with Security Council resolutions 425. From 24 May to 7 June 2000, the Special Envoy travelled to Israel and Lebanon to follow up on the implementation of the Secretary-General's May 22 report; the United Nations cartographer and his team, assisted by UNIFIL, worked on the ground to identify a line to be adopted for the practical purposes of confirming the Israeli withdrawal. While it was agreed that this would not be a formal border demarcation, the aim was to identify a line on the ground conforming to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon, based on the best available cartographic and other documentary evidence.
On 7 June the completed map showing the withdrawal line was formally transmitted by the Force Commander of UNIFIL to his Lebanese and Israeli counterparts. Notwithstanding their reservations about the line, the Governments of Israel and Lebanon confirmed that identifying this line was the responsibility of the United Nations and that they would respect the line as identified. On 8 June UNIFIL teams led by Lebanese Brig. General Imad Anka and Brig. General Amin Htait commenced the work of verifying the Israeli withdrawal behind the line. On 16 June the Secretary-General reported to the Security Council that Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 and met the requirements defined in his report of 22 May 2000; the withdrawal line has been termed the Blue Line in all official UN communications since. On 7 October 2000 three Israeli soldiers—Adi Avitan 22, Staff Sgt. Benyamin Avraham 21, Staff Sgt. Omar Sawaid 27—were abducted by Hezbollah forces, they were abducted while patrolling the southern side of the demarcation line recognized by the Secretary-General and the Security Council as the Israeli deployment line The soldiers were killed either during the attack or in its immediate aftermath.
Hezbollah precipitated the 34-day-long 2006 Lebanon War when its militants fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. Of the seven Israeli soldiers in the two jeeps, two were wounded, five were killed, two soldiers were taken to Lebanon. Israel responded with massive airstrikes and artillery fire on targets in Lebanon and a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. Following 2000 withdrawal, Lebanon's military authorities report Israeli jets have violated the UN resolution 1701 by entering the country's airspace and breaking sound barriers over several villages in southern parts of the nation. Lebanese troops have responded by firing at the Israeli jets with obsolete anti-aircraft weapons. Lebanese officials have filed over 1600 air space violations by Israel since the 2000 withdrawal. On 3 August 2010 Lebanese Armed Forces soldiers ope
The Six-Day War known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, was fought between 5 and 10 June 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt and Syria. Relations between Israel and its neighbours were not normalised after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In 1956 Israel invaded the Sinai peninsula in Egypt, with one of its objectives being the reopening of the Straits of Tiran that Egypt had blocked to Israeli shipping since 1950. Israel was forced to withdraw, but was guaranteed that the Straits of Tiran would remain open. A United Nations Emergency Force was deployed along the border, but there was no demilitarisation agreement. In the months prior to June 1967, tensions became dangerously heightened. Israel reiterated its post-1956 position that the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping would be a cause for war. In May Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced that the straits would be closed to Israeli vessels and mobilised its Egyptian forces along its border with Israel.
On 5 June, Israel launched what it claimed were a series of preemptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields. Which side caused the war is one of a number of controversies relating to the conflict; the Egyptians were caught by surprise, nearly the entire Egyptian air force was destroyed with few Israeli losses, giving the Israelis air supremacy. The Israelis launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip and the Sinai, which again caught the Egyptians by surprise. After some initial resistance, Nasser ordered the evacuation of the Sinai. Israeli forces rushed westward in pursuit of the Egyptians, inflicted heavy losses, conquered the Sinai. Jordan had entered into a defense pact with Egypt a week. About an hour after the Israeli air attack, the Egyptian commander of the Jordanian army was ordered by Cairo to begin attacks on Israel. Israel subsequently captured and occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from the Jordanians and the Golan Heights from Syria. Egypt and Jordan agreed to a ceasefire on 8 June, Syria agreed on 9 June.
In the aftermath of the war, Israel had crippled the Egyptian and Jordanian militaries, having killed over 20,000 troops while only losing fewer than 1,000 of its own. The Israeli success was the result of a well-prepared and enacted strategy, the poor leadership of the Arab states, their poor military leadership and strategy. Israel seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. Israel's international standing improved in the following years, its victory humiliated Egypt and Syria, leading Nasser to resign in shame. The speed and ease of Israel's victory would lead to a dangerous overconfidence within the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces, contributing to initial Arab successes in the subsequent 1973 Yom Kippur War, although Israeli forces were successful and defeated the Arab militaries; the displacement of civilian populations resulting from the war would have long-term consequences, as 300,000 Palestinians fled the West Bank and about 100,000 Syrians left the Golan Heights.
Across the Arab world, Jewish minority communities fled or were expelled, with refugees going to Israel or Europe. After the 1956 Suez Crisis, Egypt agreed to the stationing of a United Nations Emergency Force in the Sinai to ensure all parties would comply with the 1949 Armistice Agreements. In the following years there were numerous minor border clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbors Syria. In early November 1966, Syria signed a mutual defense agreement with Egypt. Soon after this, in response to Palestine Liberation Organisation guerilla activity, including a mine attack that left three dead, the Israeli Defence Force attacked the village of as-Samu in the Jordanian-occupied West Bank. Jordanian units that engaged the Israelis were beaten back. King Hussein of Jordan criticized Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser for failing to come to Jordan's aid, "hiding behind UNEF skirts". In May 1967, Nasser received false reports from the Soviet Union that Israel was massing on the Syrian border.
Nasser began massing his troops in two defensive lines in the Sinai Peninsula on Israel's border, expelled the UNEF force from Gaza and Sinai and took over UNEF positions at Sharm el-Sheikh, overlooking the Straits of Tiran. Israel repeated declarations it had made in 1957 that any closure of the Straits would be considered an act of war, or justification for war, but Nasser closed the Straits to Israeli shipping on 22–23 May. After the war, U. S. President Lyndon Johnson commented: If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Straits of Tiran would be closed; the right of innocent, maritime passage must be preserved for all nations. On 30 May and Egypt signed a defense pact; the following day, at Jordan's invitation, the Iraqi army began deploying troops and armoured units in Jordan. They were reinforced by an Egyptian contingent. On 1 June, Israel formed a National