Israeli forces have launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt and destroyed nearly 400 Egypt-based military aircraft.
Fighting broke out on the Israel-Egypt border but then quickly spread to involve other neighbouring Arab states with ground and air troops becoming embroiled in battle.
The attack follows a build-up of Arab military forces along the Israeli border.
The Arab states had been preparing to go to war against Israel with Egypt, Jordan and Syria being aided by Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria.
On 27 May the President of Egypt, Abdel Nasser, declared: “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight.”
Egypt signed a pact with Jordan at the end of May declaring an attack on one was an attack on both. This was seen by Israel as a clear sign of preparation for all-out war.
Israel took decisive action today claiming the element of surprise was the only way it could stand any chance of defending itself against the increasing threat from neighbouring states.
Israeli troops claim to have captured the key town of El Arish in north Sinai and are now advancing towards Abu Gela.
Hundreds of thousands of Arabs are said to be fleeing the crossfire in Jordan’s West Bank.
So far the US state department has announced, “Our position is neutral in thought, word and deed.” This follows its recent stance declaring Israel would not be alone unless it decided to go it alone.
The path for war was cleared on 16 May when President Nasser ordered the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Forces from the Egyptian-Israeli border.