VI. The Rise Of The Palestinian Movement In The Wake Of The 1967 Arab Defeat

VI. The Rise Of The Palestinian Movement In The Wake Of The 1967 Arab Defeat

Period
VI. The Rise Of The Palestinian Movement In The Wake Of The 1967 Arab Defeat
14 July 1966 to 6 October 1973

The international dimension of the Arab-Israeli conflict was prominent during the period 1967–73. By the end of the 1967 war, Israel had defeated three Arab armies and gained control over all of historic Palestine (in addition to occupying the Syrian Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Desert), and the Arab front-line states concentrated on recovering the territories they had lost during the war. Also during this period, the Palestinians returned to active participation in the conflict: the Palestinian guerrilla organizations, with Fatah at their head, grew in membership and influence, eventually taking over the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and endowing it with a new spirit and significance.

Two years before the outbreak of war in 1967, Arab-Israeli tensions started to build up. Syria supported raids into Israeli carried out by the Palestinian group Fatah, whose guerrillas often entered Israel from Jordanian-controlled territory. Israel also launched cross-border raids against Palestinian and Arab targets. In November 1966, Israel carried out a large raid on the West Bank village of al-Samu‘ that resulted in heavy casualties. Outbreaks of violence also occurred near the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria. One particularly intense Israeli-Syrian battle on 7 April 1967 involved troops, tanks, and aircraft. This was accompanied by Israeli threats against the Syrian regime, followed by false reports of an Israeli military buildup on the Syrian border that the Soviet Union passed on to the Egyptian government. Although Egypt and Syria had signed a defense pact in November 1966, the preeminent Arab leader, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, was not anxious for war (especially having already committed significant troops to the Yemeni civil war).

In a show of force aimed at Israel, Nasser ordered his army to mobilize on 15 May 1967. Events quickly began spiraling toward war despite international efforts to resolve the crisis. On 18 May, U Thant, secretary-general of the UN, complied with Nasser’s request, expressed two days earlier, for the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Force that had been stationed between Egyptian and Israeli forces in Gaza and Sinai and at Sharm al-Shaykh. Egypt consequently blocked the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping on 23 May. On 25 May, Israeli mobilized its reserve forces and on 30 May, Egypt and Jordan signed a defense pact, and the latter allowed Iraqi troops to enter the country from the east.

On 5 June 1967, Israel launched a devastating surprise air attack on Egyptian airfields, destroying over 300 aircraft and effectively annihilating the Egyptian air force. After some largely ineffective air raids on Israel by Syrian and Iraqi planes, the Israeli air force struck at Jordanian and Iraqi air bases later in the day and destroyed many more aircraft. Israel ground forces invaded Gaza and Sinai and conquered them within three days. Also on 5 June, Israeli forces crossed into the West Bank, capturing East Jerusalem after fierce battles with the Jordanian army. Soon they conquered the entire West Bank. On 9 June, Israeli forces attacked Syrian positions in the Golan Heights, even though Syria had accepted a UN cease-fire. Israel’s offensive ended on 10 June, and all sides agreed to a cease-fire the day after.

The war—referred to as al-naksa (the setback) by Arabs—marked a devastating defeat for the Arab world. In addition to Egypt having lost the Sinai, the Suez Canal was rendered inoperable inasmuch as it now constituted the front lines between Egyptian and Israeli troops. Nasser accepted blame for the defeat and resigned—only to return to power following popular demonstrations. Syria lost the strategically important Golan Heights. For the Palestinians, Egyptian control over Gaza and Jordanian control over the West Bank had been replaced by an Israeli military occupation: Israel now controlled all of historic Palestine. Moreover, some 400,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from the occupied territories and crossed into Jordan.

In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces immediately destroyed 135 homes and displaced 600 Palestinians in the Maghribi Quarter next to the Western Wall to open a plaza for Jewish pilgrims. On 28 June, Israel formally annexed the city and quarters around it, thus dramatically expanding the area attached to the municipality of West Jerusalem. Israel immediately allowed Jews to build civilian settlements in the occupied territories in defiance of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. On 27 July 1967, Israeli cabinet minister Yigal Alon presented a plan, named after him, for establishing settlements and permanent Israeli control over parts of the occupied territories. By 1972, there were twenty-nine settlements in the West Bank and four in Gaza housing more than 1,200 Jewish settlers in addition to 8,600 settlers in the expanded borders of Jerusalem.

At the Arab summit meeting in Khartoum on 29 August 1967, the Arab world announced the “Three Noes”: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. After months of discussions, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 242, establishing the “land-for-peace” formula as the basis for Arab-Israeli peace, and appointed the Swedish diplomat Gunnar Jarring as the UN’s special envoy for peace talks. By 1970, Jarring was clearly unsuccessful in his mission. In fact, fighting between Egyptian and Israeli forces soon resumed shortly after the 1967 war. The small-scale attacks back and forth across the Suez Canal soon escalated to a war of attrition initiated by Egypt in early March 1969. By January 1970, Egyptian losses were so serious that Nasser secretly flew to the Soviet Union to request additional military aid, and Soviet and North Korean pilots were sent to fly Egyptian planes in combat with the Israeli air force. The United States sent Secretary of State William Rogers to devise a cease-fire, which was accepted by Egypt, Israel, and Jordan in July 1970. Nasser died the following month, and Egypt’s new president, Anwar al-Sadat, began thinking of ways to pull Egypt out of the conflict with Israel.

The Arab defeat in 1967, including Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, brought the Palestinian problem back into the spotlight. Palestinian guerrilla groups known as fedayeen, with Fatah at their head, vowed to continue Arab resistance to Israel. Although its plans for sparking an anti-Israeli uprising in the newly occupied West Bank failed within three months of the occupation, Fatah began launching cross-border guerrilla raids into Israeli-controlled territory. Other Palestinian guerrilla groups were soon established, notably the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in December 1967. The fortunes of the fedayeen, and Fatah in particular, skyrocketed as a result of the battle of al-Karama on 21 March 1968. A major Israeli incursion into Jordanian territory aimed to destroy a fedayeen base at al-Karama in the Jordan Valley. While they succeeded, Israeli forces suffered an unusually high number of casualties in the process due to the defense mounted by Fatah fighters and Jordanian army troops, artillery units, and tanks. Following this battle (very significant from the point of view of Palestinian struggle), volunteers flocked to join fedayeen organizations.

The PLO suffered from the negative political fall out of the defeat of the Arab regimes and was largely discredited as a creation of Egypt and the Arab League. Fatah and other fedayeen groups managed to take over the PLO at the fifth session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) in February 1969, and Fatah’s leader, Yasir Arafat, was elected chair of the PLO. The Palestinians affirmed that only armed struggle could liberate their homeland, and they regularly denounced UN Security Council Resolution 242. In August 1970, an extraordinary session of the PNC in Amman rejected Rogers Plan II that had been accepted by Egypt and Jordan the month before. The growing number of fedayeen forces in Jordan soon led to escalating the confrontation with Israel and, with PLO forces developing a state-within-a-state, tensions mounted with the Jordanian regime. After the PFLP hijacked three aircraft in early September 1970, flew them to Jordan, and held the passengers hostage, King Hussein ordered his army to drive PLO forces out of Amman. Ten days of fighting between Jordanian and Palestinian forces, known as Black September, commenced. After a truce arranged by the Arab League, PLO fighters in Amman withdrew to northern Jordan, but ultimately were expelled by the army in another round of fighting in July 1971.

To avenge the defeat, a Fatah faction calling itself Black September assassinated Jordanian prime minister Wasfi al-Tal in Cairo in November 1971. The group also kidnapped a group of Israeli athletes at the Olympic games in Munich in September 1972. A failed attempt by West German police to rescue the athletes led to a shootout, and eleven Israelis were killed in the operation. Though some raised questions as to the effectiveness of such spectacular, but potentially alienating, operations, there was no doubt that they served to impress the Palestinian problem into international public consciousness. At the end of this period (i.e. in late 1972), it is possible to say that, despite the setback of 1967 and the Israeli usurpation of all of historic Palestine, the Palestinians proved that they refused to accede quietly to this state of affairs, instead asserting themselves as an active player in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

MF

 

Selected Bibliography

Cobban, Helena. The Palestinian Liberation Organization: People, Power and Politics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Khalidi, Ahmad Samih. “The War of Attrition.Journal of Palestine Studies 3, no.1 (Autumn 1973): 60-87.

Louis, William Roger, and Avi Shlaim, eds. The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: Origins and Consequences. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Sayigh, Yezid. Armed Struggle and the State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2000.

Schleifer, Abdallah. “The Fall of Jerusalem.Journal of Palestine Studies 1, no.1 (Autumn 1971): 68-86.

Segev, Tom. 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007.

Shlaim, Avi. The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World Since 1948. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001.

VI. The Rise Of The Palestinian Movement In The Wake Of The 1967 Arab Defeat
E.g., 2018/12/14
E.g., 2018/12/14

The Rise Of The Palestinian Movement In The Wake Of The 1967 Arab Defeat

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

From A Sense Of Victory To Separate Peace And Civil War

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

Palestinian Defeat, Divisions And Survival

1982

1983

Violence

Israeli Air Force Carries out a Raid in Syria in Response to Fatah Operations
14 July 1966

Diplomatic Violence

Draft Security Council Resolution S/7575/Rev.1
4 November 1966

Diplomatic Violence

Syria Signs a Mutual Defense Agreement with Egypt.
4 November 1966

Violence

Israeli-Jordanian Battle at al-Samu' after a Fatah Operation
11 November 1966 - 13 November 1966

Popular action

Demonstrations in Jordan
20 November 1966 - 25 November 1966

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/228
25 November 1966

Violence

Israeli-Syrian Violence Escalates; Fatah's Military Operations Increase.
1 January 1967 - 30 April 1967

Violence

Israeli-Syrian Aerial Battle
7 April 1967 - 21 April 1967

Diplomatic

Reports on Israeli Plans Against Syria
12 May 1967 - 14 May 1967

Diplomatic Sanctions

Egypt Reacts to Israeli Threats Against Syria
15 May 1967 - 22 May 1967

Diplomatic Violence

Jordan Signs a Joint Defense Pact with Egypt.
30 May 1967

Diplomatic Violence

Israel Prepares for War with US Consent
2 June 1967 - 4 June 1967

Violence

June War
5 June 1967 - 10 June 1967

Violence

June War, 1st Day
5 June 1967

Violence

June War, 2nd Day
6 June 1967

Violence

June War, 3rd Day
7 June 1967

Violence

June War, 4th Day
8 June 1967

Violence

June War, 5th Day
9 June 1967

Violence

June War, 6th Day
10 June 1967

Violence

Second Palestinian Exodus
10 June 1967 - 31 December 1967

Violence Institutional

Jerusalem in the Aftermath of the War
11 June 1967 - 29 June 1967

Diplomatic Violence

Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly
13 June 1967 - 21 July 1967

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/237
14 June 1967

Diplomatic Institutional

General Assembly Resolution 2252 (ES-V)
4 July 1967

Diplomatic

General Assembly Resolutions 2253 and 2254 (ES-V)
4 July 1967 - 14 July 1967

Legal Colonization

Military Order No. 58, Concerning Abandoned Property (Private Property)
23 July 1967

Popular action

Formation of a Higher Islamic Council in Jerusalem 
24 July 1967

Legal Colonization

Military Order No. 59, Concerning State Property
31 July 1967

Diplomatic

Small Fraction of 1967 War Refugees to Return to the West Bank
14 August 1967 - 19 October 1967

Violence

Fatah Guerrilla Resistance in the West Bank
28 August 1967

Diplomatic Policy/program

Arab Summit Convenes in Khartoum
29 August 1967 - 1 September 1967

Diplomatic

Security Council Resolution S/RES/242
22 November 1967

Institutional

Palestinians Reorganize
11 December 1967 - 19 January 1968

Institutional Violence

Guerrilla Resistance in Gaza Strip
1968 - 1970

Violence

Israeli Military Confrontation with Jordan and Palestinian Guerrillas
14 February 1968 - 15 February 1968

Violence

Battle of al-Karama
21 March 1968

Colonization

Settlement Attempt in Hebron
12 April 1968 - 16 June 1968

Biographical

Yasir Arafat Assumes Prominence within Fatah
14 April 1968

Colonization

Israel Land Requisition in Old City of Jerusalem
18 April 1968

Diplomatic Colonization

Security Council Resolution S/RES/252
21 May 1968

Violence

Israeli-Jordanian Clashes
4 June 1968

Institutional Policy/program

27th Zionist Congress is Held in Jerusalem
9 June 1968 - 19 June 1968

Institutional Policy/program

4th Palestine National Council Is Held in Cairo
10 July 1968 - 17 July 1968

Violence

Civil Aviation in the Conflict
23 July 1968 - 29 August 1969

Policy/program

Fatah Defines its Political Objective
19 October 1968

Cultural

First Issue of al-Quds, a Daily Newspaper in Occupied Jerusalem, Is Published.
19 November 1968

Violence

Explosion in Mahane Yehuda in West Jerusalem
22 November 1968 - 28 November 1968

Diplomatic Institutional

General Assembly Resolutions 2443 and 2452 (XXIII)
19 December 1968

Legal Colonization

Military Order No. 291 on Land Settlement
19 December 1968

Legal Colonization

Land Law, 5729-1969
1969

Popular action

Hunger Strike of Palestinian Women in Jerusalem
26 January 1969

Policy/program

Fatah Reaffirms its Political Objective
28 January 1969

Institutional

PDFLP Splits off from PFLP
February 1969

Institutional Policy/program

5th Palestine National Council Is Held in Cairo
1 February 1969 - 4 February 1969

Violence

Students Demonstrate in Gaza
2 February 1969

Violence

Palestinians Are Arrested by Israeli Authorities
5 March 1969

Violence

Egypt's War of Attrition
8 March 1969 - 7 August 1970

Biographical

Golda Meir Becomes Prime Minister of Israel
17 March 1969

Colonization Legal

Military Order No. 321 Concerning Land Law (Acquisition for Public Purposes)
28 March 1969

Legal Colonization

Israel Strengthens its Control over East Jerusalem
27 April 1969 - 26 June 1969

Violence

Israel Retaliates Against South Lebanon
12 May 1969 - 13 May 1969

Sanctions Popular action

Deportation from West Bank
9 June 1969 - 6 October 1969

Diplomatic Sanctions

Security Council Resolution S/RES/267
3 July 1969

Violence

Al-Aqsa Mosque Is Set on Fire
21 August 1969

Institutional Popular action

6th Palestine National Council Is Held in Cairo
1 September 1969 - 9 September 1969

Diplomatic Policy/program

PLO-Lebanon Cairo Accord
3 November 1969

Diplomatic Policy/program

Rogers Plan
9 December 1969

Diplomatic

General Assembly Resolution 2535 (XXIV)
10 December 1969

Legal Colonization

Military Order No. 363, Concerning the Protection of Nature Reserves
22 December 1969

Violence

Jordanian-Palestinian Clashes
11 February 1970

Policy/program

Israel and Refugee Camps in Gaza and West Bank
18 February 1970

Violence

Palestinian-Israeli Clashes in South Lebanon and Jordan Valley
22 May 1970 - 29 May 1970

Institutional Policy/program

7th Palestine National Council is Held in Cairo
30 May 1970 - 4 June 1970

Violence

Palestinian-Jordanian Clashes
6 June 1970 - 10 June 1970

Diplomatic Policy/program

Rogers Plan II
19 June 1970 - 7 August 1970

Violence

Sharon's Pacification of Gaza
August 1970 - December 1971

Institutional Policy/program

1st Extraordinary Session of the Palestine National Council is Held in Amman
27 August 1970 - 28 August 1970

Violence

PFLP Hijack Operations
6 September 1970 - 12 September 1970

Violence

Black September in Jordan
15 September 1970 - 25 September 1970

Diplomatic

Palestinian-Jordanian Agreement in Cairo
27 September 1970

Biographical

Abdel Nasser Dies of a Sudden Heart Attack; Anwar al-Sadat Succeeds Him.
28 September 1970

Violence

Jordanian Army Tightens Control
1 October 1970 - 23 July 1971

Diplomatic

GA Resolution 2628 (XXV)
4 November 1970

Diplomatic Legal

General Assembly Resolution 2649 (XXV)
30 November 1970

Diplomatic Legal

General Assembly Resolution 2672 (XXV)
8 December 1970

Diplomatic

President Sadat Suggests Partial Israeli Withdrawal from Suez Canal
4 February 1971

Policy/program

The US and Palestinian Rights
25 February 1971

Institutional Policy/program

8th Palestine National Council Is Held in Cairo
28 February 1971 - 5 March 1971

Institutional Violence

9th Palestine National Council is Held in Cairo
7 July 1971 - 13 July 1971

Violence

Ziyad Husseini, Commander of the Popular Liberation Forces in Gaza, Dies.
21 August 1971

Biographical

Israel Appoints Rashad al-Shawa as Mayor of Gaza.
September 1971

Diplomatic

Jordan Complains to UN Security Council on Jerusalem
13 September 1971

Diplomatic

Security Council Resolution S/RES/298
25 September 1971

Institutional

Municipal Elections in West Bank Are Announced
26 November 1971

Violence

Wasfi al-Tal, Jordan's Prime Minister, Is Assassinated by Black September Members in Cairo.
28 November 1971

Diplomatic

General Assembly Resolution 2792 (XXVI)
6 December 1971

Institutional Policy/program

28th Zionist Congress Meets in Jerusalem
18 January 1972 - 28 January 1972

Violence

Israeli Military Operation in South Lebanon
25 February 1972 - 28 February 1972

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/313
28 February 1972

Policy/program

King Hussein Proposes a "United Arab Kingdom"
15 March 1972

Institutional

Municipal Elections Are Held in the West Bank
28 March 1972 - 2 May 1972

Institutional Policy/program

10th (Extraordinary) Palestine National Council is Held in Cairo
6 April 1972 - 12 April 1972

Violence

Black September Hijack Operation
8 May 1972

Violence

Japanese Red Army at Lod Airport
30 May 1972

Violence

Israeli Military Operation in South Lebanon
21 June 1972 - 24 June 1972

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/316
26 June 1972

Violence

Assassination of Ghassan Kanafani in Beirut
8 July 1972

Violence

Attempted Assassination of Anis Sayigh in Beirut
19 July 1972

Violence Biographical

Attempted Assassination of Bassam Abu Sharif in Beirut
25 July 1972

Institutional

Gaza Red Crescent Society Is Established
September 1972

Violence

Black September in Munich Olympic Games
5 September 1972 - 6 September 1972

Violence

Violent Israeli Retaliation in South Lebanon
16 September 1972 - 17 September 1972

Violence

Wa'el Zuaiter Is Assassinated in Rome.
16 October 1972

Violence

Black September Hijack Operation
29 October 1972 - 30 October 1972

Violence

Mahmoud al-Hamshari is Assassinated in Paris
8 December 1972 - 10 January 1973

Institutional

Israeli Travel Documents for Palestinians in West Bank
10 December 1972

Institutional

11th Palestine National Council Meets in Cairo
6 January 1973 - 12 January 1973

Violence

Hussein Bashir Abu al-Khayr Is Assassinated in Nicosia
24 January 1973

Violence

Libyan Civilian Aircraft Is Shot Down Over the Sinai
21 February 1973

Violence

Black September Operation in Khartoum
1 March 1973 - 4 March 1973

Violence

Muhammad al-Aswad Is Killed in Gaza
9 March 1973

Violence

Basil al-Kubeisi Assassinated in Paris
6 April 1973

Violence

Israeli Operation in Beirut Against Palestinian Leaders
10 April 1973

Violence

Lebanese-Palestinian Confrontation
2 May 1973 - 23 May 1973

Legal

Absentees' Property (Compensation) Law, 5733-1973
27 June 1973

Violence

Mohammad Boudia Assassinated in Paris
28 June 1973

Violence

Ahmed Bouchiki Assassinated in Lillehammer
21 July 1973

Institutional

Palestinian National Front Is Established in the West Bank
15 August 1973

Popular action

Shaykh Ahmad Yasin's Islamic Center Is Established in Gaza
7 September 1973