Six Day War Timeline

Pre-War Timeline:

June 18, 1953 Revolution in Egypt. Young officers including Gemal Abdel Nasser overthrow monarchy and proclaim goal of modernization and undoing the shame of 1948.
Oct. 29, 1956

Suez Campaign. In retaliation for a series of escalating border raids as well as the closure of the straits of Tiran and Suez canal to Israeli shipping, and to prevent Egyptian use of newly acquired Soviet arms in a war, Israel invades the Sinai peninsula and occupies it for several months, with French and British collaboration. French and British were interested in reversing the nationalization of the canal. Israel withdraws after a UN peace keeping force is placed in Sinai, and US guarantees right of passage for Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran. Suez Canal reopened March 23, 1957.

1957 Probable start of construction of Israel nuclear breeder reactor using French technology. The French later tried to stop the program, but backed down when Israeli FM Peres said Israel would make the deal public. Reactor was discovered by the US in U-2 flights in 1960 or 1961.
1957 U.S. committed in an aide de memoire (memorandum) to guarantee freedom of passage in the Suez canal, signed February 11. A later memorandum of February 23 answered questions and clarified Israeli doubts, making it clear that US would allow use of force to keep the straits open. However, the US government later claimed that it had no knowledge of such commitments and that the memorandum was "lost."
Nov 18, 1959 Israel abandons earlier Jordan river diversion scheme, begins work on the National Water Carrier Project, to divert the waters of the River Jordan from the Sea of Galilee to the Negev, taking its share of Jordan water in accordance with Johnston plan.
1959 Fatah founded. In the summer of 1959, according to a detailed account by Thomas Kiernan, Yasser Arafat, Khalil al Wazir, Saad Khalef, Faruq Qadumi, Zuhair al Alami, Kamal Adwan, Muhamed Yussef an-Najar and others found the Fatah organization in Kuwait, with the aim of destroying Israel. The name means victory or conquest.As "conquest" does not sound politically correct, they note that they can reverse the name to be Harakat Tahrir Filastin, Palestine Liberation Movement. Various dates and soon renamed "Fatah" (Conquest or "Victory"). The organization was to be modeled on the Algerian FLN. (from Kiernan, Thomas, Arafat, Norton, 1976 pp 214-218). Various other dates as early as 1957 are given in other sources, and may refer to informal meetings held by the Palestinian expatriate group surounding Arafat.Fatah was formally founded in 1964.
Oct. 23, 1958 Soviet loan to Egypt to finance Aswan Dam.
Nov 18, 1959 Israel abandons earlier Jordan river diversion scheme, begins work on the National Water Carrier Project, to divert the waters of the River Jordan from the Sea of Galilee to the Negev, taking its share of Jordan water in accordance with Johnston plan.
Jan 13-17 1964 First Arab summit at Cairo (the Egyptians count this as the third Arab Summit) (ie. heads of State, instigated by Nasser), prompted by Israel’s national water carrier project and Palestinian agitation against it. Arabs declare their intentions of stopping the Israeli diversion scheme, which is in accordance with the Johnson plan, and decided on establishment of the PLO. A Unified Arab Command under Egyptian supervision was created. This summit and the one that followed in September caused considerable alarm in Israel, and is cited by Avi Shlaim (The Iron Wall) as the actual beginning of the 6 day war.
May, 1964 PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization)founded with the aim of destroying Israel. The Palestinian National Charter (1968) officially called for liquidation of Israel. PLO was founded by Egypt to divert Palestinian energies from the nascent Fatah movement of Yasser Arafat, which had become anti-Nasserist.
June 5, 1964 Israel begins pumping water from the Sea of Galilee for the Israel National Water Carrier. Israel agreed to take only its share of water allotted under the Johnston plan, with the tacit agreement of Jordan.
Sept 13, 1964 Second Arab Summit at Alexandria decides on diversion of the headwaters of the Jordan as well as strengthening regional Arab armies. Arabs declare the aim of destroying Israel. Israel addressed two notes to the UN Security Council, concerning the alarming nature of the summit resolutions to destroy Israel.
Jan. 2, 1965 Al Fatah carries out first sabotage in Israel, against the Israel National Water Carrier. Fatah carried out about 122 raids between Jan 1965 and June 1967, later boasting that they had dragged the Arab states into war. Most of these raids were abortive
Jan. 1965 Syrians capture Israeli agent Eli Cohen, cutting off an important source of intelligence about Syrian deployment, particularly in the Golan. Cohen was executed in May.
1965 Syrian water diversion project begins. Syrians fire on Israeli demilitarized zones, often in response to Israeli provocations. This gives Israel the excuse to bombard earth moving equipment of the diversion project.
Sept. 18. 1965 Third Arab Summit at Casablanca. Conference draws up staged plan for combating Israel, first building up armed forces of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon over 2.5-3 yrs & refraining from war with Israel; then proceeding to war.
Nov 13, 1965 After Syria fires on Israeli patrol, IAF bombards Syrian diversion project in retaliation. Four Israelis killed, heavier losses for Syrians.
Feb. 23, 1966 Baathist extremist coup in Syria by Shazli Al Jadid and Hafez El Assad, followed by increased PLO activity against Israel. Regime policy:

"The Palestine question [is] the main axis of our domestic, Arab and international policies... The liberation battle can only be waged by progressive Arab forces through a popular war of liberation, which history has proved is the only course for victory against all aggressive forces.... it will remain the final way for the liberation of the entire Arab homeland and for its comprehensive socialist popular unification.

May 25, 1966 USSR claims falsely that it has uncovered a Zionist plot to attack Syria.
July 7, 1966 IAF attacks Syrian diversionary scheme after Syrian shelling of Israel, and downs a MiG 21. The diversion scheme is abandoned.
Aug 15, 1966 Israeli patrol boat run ashore in DMZ on Eastern shore of lake Galilee is attacked by Syrian air force and artillery. Israel air force downs two MiGs, but the boat must be salvaged at night due to persistent artillery fire.
Nov 9, 1966 Egypt and Syria sign defense treaty. This date is also given as Nov. 4. A secret codicil promised that Egypt would attack Israel in the south if Israel attacked Syria.
Nov 10, 1966 Three Israeli soldiers are killed by a land mine on an Israeli patrol road near the the border, south of Hebron. King Hussein sends an apology via US ambassador Walworth Barbour, but Barbour fails to deliver the apology.
Nov 13, 1966 Samu' raid: Israeli troops retaliate for the November 10 killing of 3 Israeli soldiers by a mine planted on a patrol road. The attack unexpectedly runs into a column of Jordan Legion soldiers, kills 15 Jordanian soldiers and 3 civilians, & dynamite 125 houses in as Samu according to UN or about 40 according to Israelis.near Hebron; in response to the Israel is censured by SCR228 (25 Nov 66), but there is no military response from Amman. This leads to recriminations in the Israeli government, which had intended a smaller scale raid, and Palestinian anger and clashes with Jordanian security forces throughout West Bank, especially in Nablus where the army had to intervene. The PLO gains support.
Dec 14, 1966 Egyptian Marshal Hakim Amer cables Nasser from Pakistan, recommending closing the straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and dismissing the UNEF force from Gaza.
Jan -March 1967 Over 270 border "incidents" cause rising concern in Israel. March 3 - Landmine injures tractorist in Kibbutz Shamir. March 12, explosion on train tracks near Kibbutz Lahav. March 26, 2 Palestinians killed trying to demolish a water pump near Arad.
April 7, 1967 Israelis respond to intensive Syrian shelling of DMZ and and Israeli villages and kibbutzim with IAF raid. An air battle involving about 130 aircraft developed. Israelis down 6 MiG 21 fighters, 2 over the Golan and 4 over Damascus.
May 11, 1967 Israeli PM Eshkol states, "In view of the 14 incidents in the past month alone it is possible that we will have to adopt measures no less drastic than those of April 7." UPI circulated a rumor (May 12) that Israel was trying to topple the Syrian regime. The incidents included shelling, terror attacks and attempted infiltration of a Syrian agent to blow up locations in Jerusalem.
May 12, 1967 Remarks by Yitzhak Rabin interpreted as provocative against Syria. Rabin is rebuked by Eshkol.
May 13, 1967 Soviets inform Anwar Sadat in Moscow that Israel is massing 10-12 brigades in preparation for an attack on Syria, supposedly to take place May 17. The information is false, as were several similar previous Soviet warnings.
May 14, 1967 First reports of Egyptian troop movements into Sinai.
May 16, 1967 Radio Cairo broadcast stated: "The existence of Israel has continued too long. We welcome the Israeli aggression. We welcome the battle we have long awaited. The peak hour has come. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel."
May 18, 1967 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser orders the United Nations Emergency Force to leave Sinai.
May 21, 1967 Ben-Gurion summons Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin and accuses him of precipitating the crisis and dragging Israel into a dangerous war. On the following day, Rabin, under tremendous pressure, is incapacitated temporarily by nicotine poisoning, massive fatigue or a nervous breakdown.
May 23, 1967 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser closes the straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. Egypt moves six divisions, about 130,000 soldiers, into Sinai. Negotiations with US to reopen the Straits of Tiran fail.
May 26, 1967 Speech by Gamal Nasser to Arab Trade Unionists - - Nasser claimed that Egypt was only looking for the right movement and the proper excuse to fight for the Palestinian cause.
May 26, 1967 President Johnson reluctantly agrees to see Abba Eban. Tells him he is powerless to act to open straits of Tiran and requires more time (about two weeks) to assemble UN support for a regatta to open the straits. Warns Israel against unilateral action. Subsequent UN debate proves fruitless.
May 27, 1967 Nasser cancels a planned Egyptian attack on Israel (Operation fajr - Dawn), planned for following day, after it became obvious that the Israelis knew about the plan.
May 28, 1967 Israeli Levi Eshkol broadcasts a hesitant, stammering speech, further exacerbating pressure on him to make way for other leaders. Later it is claimed that the stammering was due to problems in reading the manuscript.
May 29, 1967 Speech by Gamal Nasser to Egyptian National Assembly Members - Nasser explicitly threatened to destroy Israel: "...God will surely help and urge us to restore the situation to what it was in 1948....But now that the time has come - and I have already said in the past that we will decide the time and place and not allow them to decide - we must be ready for triumph and not for a recurrence of the 1948 comedies. "
May 30, 1967 Jordan signs a defense pact with Egypt, allows Egyptian command of Jordan Legion.
May 31, 1967 President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq stated "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map.
Jun 2, 1967 Moshe Dayan joins Israeli cabinet as Minister of Defense. Unity gov't formed. Reservists released for furlough before outbreak of the war.

The Six Day War Timeline - June 1967

Day 1
Egyptian Front Jordanian Front Syrian Front
June 5 7:46 First wave of Israeli air attacks in Operation Focus; hits Egypt.

9:45 Jordanian bombardment of Jerusalem & Central Israel. Iraqi and Jordanian aircraft try to bomb Tel Aviv & other targets.

8:15 Southern District Commander Yehushua Gavish gives attack order. Tal's division crosses southern Gaza into Rafiah; Jordanian radar at Ajlun detects the Israeli attack and warns Egyptians, but the Egyptians do not get the transmission. 12:00 Israeli bombing of airfields in Mafraq and Amman. Jordanians capture UNO HQ in Jerusalem. 12:00 Syrian aircraft attack targets in Haifa

10:15 Seventh Brigade in Khan Yunis. 12:25 Israel bombs Iraq airbase H-3

16:00 IAF attacks Cairo International Airport, destroying combat aircraft hidden under the wings of civilian airliners.* 13:00 Jerusalem brigade captures UN governor's HQ in Jerusalem.

17:00 Seventh brigade armor in El Arish; mopping up in Rafiah 15:00 45th Israel armored brigade crosses border near Ta'anach
13:00 IAF aircraft attack Syrian airbases, destroy most of the Syrian air force.

18:30 Yoffe's division at Bir al lachfan junction. 15:30 Israel conquers Tsur Baher and Pa'amon fortified position.

22:00 IN ships in Alexandria & Port Said. 17:00 Jordanian artillery shell Tel Aviv

19:30 Israel takes "Radar" and Sheikh Abd al-Aziz positions. 1840 Syrian artillery bombards Rosh Pina
Day 2
Egyptian Front Jordanian Front Syrian Front
June 6 6:00 Sharon's division completes conquest of Umm el Katef, Afu Ageila 3:00 Latrun Police fort captured by 55th brigade & 4th armored brigade; 10th brigade cuts off Jerusalem-Ramallah road 05:47 Syrian artillery barrage on Israeli border communities and attempt to advance to Tel Dan, Dan and Ashmora.

12:00 Conquest of Bir al Lahfan completed. Tal and Yoffe link up. 05:30 45th Brigade enters Jenin.

13:00 Conquest of Gaza complete 06:00 Counterattack of Jordan Legion 40th brigade in Dotan valley.

16:00 Ras el Naqeb conquered 06:15 Conquest of "armor hill" ("givat hatahmoshet") in Jerusalem.

18:30 Jebel Libni junction conquered 08:00 North East Jerusalem conquered

20:00 General retreat ordered for Egyptian army. 11:00 37th brig. captures Talpit

11:45 Capture of "Givat Hamivtar"

13:00 Jenin Surrenders

17:00 End of Dotan valley battler

17:20 Qalqiliya conquered by IDF

18:00 Abu Tor conquered by IDF

19:30 Conquest of Ramallah

24:00 General retreat from West Bank (Judea & Samaria) ordered for Jordan Legion.

Day 3
Egyptian Front Jordanian Front Syrian Front
June 7 0900 Bir al-Hasna conquered 02:00 Zabbida-Aqaba conquered conquered.
Syrian artillery bombardments continue all along the northern border with Golan.

11:00 Al Qazima conquered. 10:00 Old city of Jerusalem conquered.

12:14 Israel Navy at Sharm el Sheikh 11:00 Tul Karm conquered

11:15 Nablus (Shechem) conquered.

12:15 Final general retreat order for Jordanian forces.

14:30 Bir Gafgafa conquered 14:25 Mar Elias monastery conquered

18:00 Mitleh pass closed 18:00 Gush Etzion conquered by Israel.

19:40 Nasser turns down UN Security Council cease fire initiative. Israeli fourth division preventing Egyptian retreat at Mitleh and Jiddi passes 19:30 Jericho conquered by Israel.

Day 4
Egyptian Front Jordanian Front Syrian Front
June 8 03:00 3d Eg. armored brigade attacks Tal's vanguard west of Bir Gafgafa. 06:30 IDF conquers Hebron.
Syrian artillery bombardments continue all along the northern border with Golan.

5:55 Israel reconnaissance flight spots ship off Gaza coast, later identified as USS Liberty, and marked on Israeli situation map. Liberty had not received cables ordering it to withdraw 100 miles from the coast. 08:00 Link up of central and southern command forces at Dahirieh (west of Hebron).
IAF attacks Syrian defenses in preparation for operation Hammer, which is then cancelled.

06:00 Kuntilah conquered. 13:00 IDF destroys Jordan river bridges.

9:00 Israeli pilots spot Liberty 30 km north of El Arish. Rabin summons US Naval attache and warns him to identify or remove U.S. ships from battle zone. Israeli requests for naval liaison were repeatedly refused by US.

10:00 Israeli battle with Egyptian reserve at Kantara approaches. Jiddi pass conquered by Israelis.

11:00 Israeli duty officer goes off shift, removes Liberty marker.

11:24 Explosion of ammunition dumps at El-Arish mistakenly attributed by Israelis to naval attack. Rabin repeats order to sink any unidentified ships.

01:41 Liberty spotted, but not identified, by Israeli torpedo boats, who request air assistance. Israeli air reconnaissance fails to identify the ship.

01:57 2 Israeli Mirages strafe the Liberty. A squad of Mysteres dropped napalm on the ship. Before renewing the attack, Israelis identify Latin alphabet lettering, showing the ship was not Arab, and break off attack.

Torpedo ship squadron pagoda, ordered to hold back, nonetheless arrives on the scene of the USS Liberty battle and fires five torpedoes at the ship after US personnel fire at the torpedo boats.

15:30 Egypt accepts cease fire (9:30 PM N.Y. time)

16:00 End of Kalat a-nahal battle.

18:00 Kantara conquered

Day 5
Egyptian Front Jordanian Front Syrian Front
June 9 01:00 Yoffe's advance armor reaches Suez Canal

07:20 After intercepted message from Nasser indicates Arab forces are near collapse, Dayan reverses his stand and the decision of the cabinet, and orders attack on the Golan Heights. Initially a limited plan called "Hammer."

11:30 8th brig. begins advance on Syrian lines in North Golan

12:35 IDF conquers Tel Hallal

17:00 IDF conquers Tel Azaziat

18:20 IDF takes Tal Fahr bunkers after bloody battle.

18:30 Nasser, in televised speech, blames the United States for the loss and insists that the US helped Israel. He threatens "The Sixth Fleet runs on Arab Petroleum." Nasser announces resignation. Speech is followed by anti-aircraft fire and a huge "spontaneous demonstration" that causes him to retract the resignation.

18:30 IDF takes Zaura-Kala compound.

20:00 IDF takes Rouya

Day 6
Egyptian Front Jordanian Front Syrian Front
June 10

0:400 IDF conquers Jalabina fortifications.

08:30 Syrians announce falsely that Kuneitra has fallen, in order to pressure for a cease fire.

14:30 Kuneitra falls to IDF (12:30 according to Michael Oren, 6 Days of War)

15:00 Dayan meets Odd Bull and agrees to cease fire by 18:00 hrs.

18:15 Mas'ada falls.

Day Egyptian Front Jordanian Front Syrian Front
June 12

Hermon and Majdal Chams claimed for Israel.