26 November 2023

The Second Arab–Israeli War (Suez Crisis) - A Quick Note

The second Quick Note focuses on the Second Arab–Israeli War (also called the Suez Crisis). As mentioned earlier, the Quick Notes series reflects, for the sake of brevity, an 'overview' of this most significant West Asian conflict.

(Strait is a narrow channel of water that separates two land bodies; example: Palk Strait separates India and Sri Lanka.)

When: 29 October 1956–7 November 1956

What happened: Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956; the United Kingdom and France encouraged Israel to attack Egypt to regain control of the important waterway. Israel’s main goal was to reopen the blocked Straits of Tiran, which was strategically important for it. Israel attacked and occupied the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, both belonging to Egypt.

(a) Under intense pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Nations, the United Kingdom and France retreated from the war.

(b) Israel scored an important strategic victory as it lifted the blockade to the Straits of Tiran. 

(Map from here)

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