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1967 Middle East War

Israeli forces take control of the Sinai and reach Suez Canal. IAF jets attack the US Navy's USS Liberty
Israeli forces in Sinai Desert (left); Arab prisoners in Jerusalem; Brigadier General Ariel Sharon watching an aerial drop in the Sinai (right)

The three-pronged conquest of the Sinai peninsula reaches its conclusion. Armoured and mechanised forces led by generals Israel Tal, Avraham Joffe, and Ariel Sharon defeat the forces of Egyptian commander General Abd al-Mohsen Mortagui.

Gen Mortagui had 80,000 soldiers with more than 1,000 tanks, but lack of air support meant he was vulnerable to attack from land and air.

Thousands of Egyptian soldiers die in the war - either in battle or from heat stroke and thirst in the desert - and many are taken prisoner.

By the end of the day, Israeli troops have taken up positions along the eastern bank of the Suez Canal. Egypt accepts defeat and a ceasefire comes into effect.

During the day, IAF jets attack US Navy surveillance ship USS Liberty off the coast near al-Arish, killing 34 Americans and injuring 172. Israel says it mistook the Liberty for an Egyptian ship.

A US Navy tribunal later accepts the explanation but it remains a controversial incident.


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