Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Wars of Zion

Wars involving Israel

Since its establishment in 1948, the State of Israel has fought eight recognized wars, two Palestinian intifadas, and a series of armed conflicts in the broader Arab-Israeli conflict.

Wars and other conflicts

Israel has been involved in a number of wars and large-scale military operations, including:
  • Israeli war of independence (November 1947 - July 1949) - Started as 6 months of civil war between Jewish and Arab militias at the end of theBritish Mandate of Palestine and turned into a regular war after the declaration of independence of Israel and the intervention of several Arab armies. In its conclusion, a set of agreements were signed between IsraelEgyptJordanLebanon, and Syria, called the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which established the armistice lines between Israel and its neighbours, also known as the Green Line.
  • Reprisal operations (1950s - 1960s) - Military operations carried out by the Israel Defense Forces during the 1950s and 1960s. These actions were in response to constant fedayeen incursions during which Arab guerillas infiltrated from SyriaEgypt, and Jordan into Israel to carry outattacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. The policy of the reprisal operations was exceptional due to Israel's declared aim of getting a high 'blood cost' among the enemy side which was believed to be necessary in order to deter them from committing future attacks.
  • Suez Crisis (October 1956) - A military attack on Egypt by BritainFrance, and Israel, beginning on 29 October 1956, with the intention to occupy the Sinai Peninsula and to take over the Suez Canal. The attack followed Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam. Although the Israeli invasion of the Sinai was successful, the US and USSR forced it to retreat. Even so, Israel managed to re-open the Straits of Tiran and pacified its southern border.
  • Six-Day War (June 1967) - Fought between Israel and Arab neighbors EgyptJordan, and Syria. The nations of IraqSaudi ArabiaKuwait,Algeria, and others also contributed troops and arms to the Arab forces. Following the war, the territory held by Israel expanded significantly ("The Purple Line") : The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, Golan Heights from Syria, Sinai and Gaza from Egypt.
  • War of Attrition (1967–1970) - A limited war fought between the Israeli military and forces of the Egyptian Republic, the USSRJordanSyria, and the Palestine Liberation Organization from 1967 to 1970. It was initiated by the Egyptians as a way of recapturing the Sinai from the Israelis, who had been in control of the territory since the mid-1967 Six-Day War. The hostilities ended with a ceasefire signed between the countries in 1970 with frontiers remaining in the same place as when the war began.
  • Yom Kippur War (October 1973) - Fought from October 6 to October 26, 1973 by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israelas a way of recapturing part of the territories which they lost to the Israelis back in the Six-Day War. The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Egypt and Syria crossed the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights, respectively. Eventually Arab forces were defeated by Israel and there were no significant territorial changes.
  • Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon (1971-1982) - PLO relocate to South Lebanon from Jordan and stage attacks on the Galilee and as a base for international operations. In 1978, Israel launches Operation Litani - the first Israeli large-scale invasion of Lebanon, which was carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in order to expel PLO forces from the territory. Continuing ground and rocket attacks, and Israeli retaliations, eventually escalate into the 1982 War.
  • 1982 Lebanon War (1982) - Began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon to expel the PLO from the territory. The Government of Israel ordered the invasion as a response to the assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United KingdomShlomo Argov, by the Abu Nidal Organization and due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel made by the Palestinian guerilla organizations which resided in Lebanon. The war resulted in the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon and created an Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon.
  • South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000) - Nearly 20 years of warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and its Lebanese Christian proxy militiasagainst Lebanese Muslim guerrilla, led by Iranian-backed Hezbollah, within what was defined by Israelis as the "Security Zone" in South Lebanon.
  • First Intifada (1987–1993) - First large-scale Palestinian uprising against Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Second Intifada (2000–2005) - Second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified violence, which began in late September 2000.
  • 2006 Lebanon War (summer 2006) - Began as a military operation in response to the abduction of two Israeli reserve soldiers by the Hezbollah. The operation gradually strengthened, to become a wider confrontation. The principal participants were Hezbollah paramilitary forces and theIsraeli military. The conflict started on 12 July 2006 and continued until a United Nations-brokered ceasefire went into effect on 14 August 2006, though it formally ended on 8 September 2006, when Israel lifted its naval blockade of Lebanon. The war resulted in the pacification of southern Lebanon and in the weakness of the Hezbollah (which suffered serious casualties but managed to survive the Israeli onslaught).
  • Gaza War (December 2008 - January 2009) - Three-week armed conflict between Israel and Hamas during the winter of 2008–2009. In an escalation of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israel responded to ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with military force in an action titled "Operation Cast Lead". Israel opened the attack with a surprise air strike on December 27, 2008. Israel's stated aim was to stop such rocket fire from and the import of arms into Gaza. Israeli forces attacked military and civilian targets, police stations, and government buildings in the opening assault. Israel declared an end to the conflict on January 18 and completed its withdrawal on January 21, 2009.
  • Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) - Military offensive on the Gaza Strip.[1]
  • Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014) - Military offensive on the Gaza Strip as a response to the collapse of American-sponsored peace talks, attempts by rival Palestinian factions to form a coalition government, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the subsequent kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager, and increased rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants.[2]


Conflicts considered as wars by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (as they were named by Israel) are marked in bold.[3]
ConflictCombatant 1Combatant 2ResultsIsraeli commandersIsraeli losses
Israeli Prime MinisterDefense Minister of IsraelChief of Staff of the IDFIDF
War of Independence
 IsraelEgypt Egypt
Syria Syria
 Saudi Arabia
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg HWA
Arab League ALA
David Ben-Gurion
Yaakov Dori
Sinai War
United Kingdom United Kingdom
France France
Egypt EgyptVictory
  • Sinai demilitarized, UNEFdeployed.
Moshe Dayan
Six-Day War
 Israel Egypt
Iraq Iraq
Levi Eshkol
Moshe Dayan
Yitzhak Rabin
War of Attrition
 Israel Egypt
Soviet Union Soviet Union
Flag of Palestine - short triangle.svg PLO
Both sides claimed victory
Golda Meir
Haim Bar-Lev
Yom Kippur War
 Israel Egypt
Iraq Iraq
Morocco Morocco
 Saudi Arabia
David Elazar
Operation Litani
Lebanon FLA
Flag of Palestine - short triangle.svg PLOVictory
  • PLO withdrawal from Southern Lebanon.
Menachem Begin
Ezer Weizman
Mordechai Gur
First Lebanon War
Security Zone conflict
Lebanon SLA
Lebanon Lebanese Front
Flag of Palestine - short triangle.svg PLO
Syria Syria
InfoboxHez.PNG Hezbollah
Lebanon Jammoul
Flag of the Amal Movement.svg Amal
Unilateral withdrawal[9]
  • PLO expulsion from Lebanon (1982)[10][11]
  • Failure to achieve Israeli-Lebanese peace.
Ariel Sharon
Rafael Eitan
First Intifada
 IsraelFlag of Palestine - short triangle.svg Fatah
Flag of Hamas.svg Hamas
Oslo I Accord
  • PNA established, PLO recognizes Israel.
Yitzhak Shamir
Yitzhak Rabin
Dan Shomron
Second Intifada
 IsraelFlag of Palestine - short triangle.svg PA
Flag of Hamas.svg Hamas
  • Palestinian uprising suppressed.[12]
Ariel Sharon
Shaul Mofaz
Moshe Ya'alon
Second Lebanon War
 IsraelInfoboxHez.PNG HezbollahStalemate
Ehud Olmert
Amir Peretz
Dan Halutz
Operation Cast Lead
 IsraelFlag of Hamas.svg HamasVictory
Ehud Barak
Gabi Ashkenazi
Operation Pillar of Defense
 IsraelFlag of Hamas.svg HamasVictory
  • Cessation of rocket fire into Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benny Gantz
Operation Protective Edge
 IsraelFlag of Hamas.svg HamasBoth sides claim victory
Moshe Ya'alon

Other armed conflicts involving the IDF

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