Israeli Army

An Overview of the 3 Major Arab-Israeli Wars

Curious about the broader history of the Arab-Israeli conflict? Ever since its founding 75 years ago, the state of Israel has managed impressive military feats against the enemies seeking to destroy it. Though Israel continually seeks peace, and its exact threats have changed over the decades, the IDF continues bravely defending the land and people of Israel to this day.

Read on below to brush up on the key facts of what are considered the 3 most important Arab-Israeli wars to know about!

In light of the current Operation Swords of Iron and the devastating massacre of October 7, 2023, we’ve compiled a list of recommended organizations to donate to in order to directly help the war effort – check it out here!

And show off your solidarity with Israel with our Support Israel collection here, and check out our other suggested ways of supporting Israel and Israelis here.

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1948-1949: War of Independence:

Immediately after declaring independence, Israel was attacked by the Arab League, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. The new state bravely fought for its survival using very limited resources, and held off the much more powerful Arab armies while securing its sovereignty.

*Inspiring fact: Anticipating war and determined to be prepared, Jewish leaders managed to obtain arms before the war from abroad despite a blockade - by clandestinely smuggling them. This even included disassembled parts of planes and tanks that were then secretly put back together in Israel.

 

 

1967: Six-Day War:

With exceptional intelligence from the Mossad, Israel foiled attack plans by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria by striking first. The Israel Defense Forces swiftly decimated the other armies in only six days, while capturing key territories - most notably unifying all of Jerusalem under the Israeli flag and gaining access to the holy sites of the Old City.

*Inspiring fact: The war was not just a major victory for Israel and the IDF, but for Jews all around the world. It inspired a great deal of Zionism and Jewish pride as it solidified that Israel is here to stay and cannot be destroyed despite being surrounded by enemies, and it led to the creation of the holiday of Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day.

(Read our full posts on the Six-Day War and Jerusalem Day to dive deeper into this incredible event!)

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1973: Yom Kippur War:

Embarrassed by the 1967 loss, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on the holiest day for Jews, Yom Kippur. Despite initial heavy losses, the IDF managed to turn the war around to defend Israel's existence and territory. Israeli troops even marched relatively far into both Egypt and Syria before a ceasefire was called.

*Inspiring fact: The silver lining of this tough war was that it led the Israeli and Egyptian governments to seek out a historic, formal peace treaty, and eventually to the robust economic and security cooperation between the two nations today.

(For more background info, read our full post on the Yom Kippur War here.)

 

 

As Israel continues fighting for its survival today, we remember those who came before us and honor their sacrifices for the Nation of Israel.

If you're inspired by Israel's bravery and incredible history, check out our IDF-themed gifts and Support Israel collection!

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