Bearing Witness

Suez campaign , 29 Oct – 4 Nov 1956

During the 1950s there was considerable tension between Israel and Egypt, which, under President Nasser, had become a leader in the Arab world. His nationalization of the Suez Canal 1956 provided an opportunity for Israel with Britain and France, to attack Egypt and occupy a part of Palestine that Egypt had controlled since 1949, the Gaza Strip , from which Israel was forced by UN and US pressure to withdraw 1957 .

Great Britain and France ostensibly joined the attack because of their dispute with Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalized the Suez Canal. Nasser took over the canal after Great Britain and France withdrew offers to finance the construction of the Aswân High Dam. Israel scored a quick victory, seizing the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula within a few days. As Israeli forces reached the banks of the Suez Canal, the British and French started their attack.

The fighting was halted by the UN after a few days, and a UN Emergency Force (UNEF) was sent to supervise the cease-fire in the Canal zone. In a rare instance of cooperation, the United States and the Soviet Union supported the UN resolution forcing the three invading countries to leave Egypt and Gaza. By the end of the year their forces withdrew from Egypt, but Israel refused to leave Gaza until early 1957, and only after the United States had promised to help resolve the conflict and keep the Straits of Tiran open.

* The above iformation was obtained at

October 29, 2008 - Posted by | History of the Occupation | , , , , , ,

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