Bible Israel

Operation Kadesh Suez Crisis

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Map of Operation Kadesh: The Israeli operation in the Sinai Peninsula (1956)

The Suez Crisis:  The Second Arab-Israeli War

In 1956, the Egyptian government under the direction of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, approved an initiative that would nationalize the Suez Canal. This effectively and completely prevented the passage of Israeli naval vessels through the Suez as the initiative was being reinforced by Egyptian forces armed with Soviet weaponry. As such, Operation Kadesh was launched. This was a joint operation that saw Egyptian facing off against Israel, along with Britain and France, who had also sustained losses due to the dire circumstances in the Suez. However, Britain and France would not become involved militarily unless the Egyptian forces refused to retreat. The objectives were clear: to regain control of the Suez Canal, and to remove Nasser from power. In late October, 1956, hundreds of Israeli paratroopers began dropping in a region located 70 km from the Suez Canal vicinity. Simultaneously, armored vehicles and tanks, under the command of Ariel Sharon were en route from the Israeli border with the objective of connecting with the paratroopers. Intense fighting ensued, and the Egyptian forces were eventually defeated. The conflict quickly became a political war, with the United States and the Soviet Union both exerting a tremendous amount of pressure upon Israel to back off. In the end, Israel regained navigational capabilities through the Straits of Tiran, however President Nasser remained in power.

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