After the Soviet Union helped to rehabilitate the Egyptian army, which had been severely weakened during the Six Day War, Egypt opened hostilities on the southern front. This was an attempt to boost the low morale of the Egyptians after their defeat in the Six Day War and to hurt Israel and its military equipment.
September, 1968- Egypt surprised Israel when it started to bombard her. Israel responded and quiet was restored for a few months. Israel took advantage of this period to fortify the Suez Canal area and to defend itself. It built “the Bar Lev Line”, a series of fortifications along the Suez Canal. In March, 1969, the Egyptians started to heavily shell Israel along the length of the Suez Canal. The names of the soldiers that were killed in the attacks began to appear in the newspapers on a daily basis. The War of Attrition lasted for 17 months and claimed the lives of 500 Israelis! In August, 1970, a ceasefire was declared. Immediately thereafter, the Egyptians moved rockets in the direction of the Suez Canal. The War of Attrition was the first war in which there was a sense of detachment between the front and the home front. While soldiers were battling and dying in the South, people in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities were sitting in coffee shops
The land of the chase
On the Jordan border there was another war. It was characterized by continued shelling of civilian settlements: the kibbutzes and the moshavs of the Beit Shean Regional Council. Throughout the war, a blackout (turning off all the lights in homes and on the streets) was imposed on these settlements every night to prevent damage from the Jordanian shelling. Artillery accounted for most of the fighting along the Jordanian border. Jordanian shelling of Israel was answered with Israel shelling of army positions and Jordanian settlements along the border. In addition, the IDF launched a number of operations against terrorist bases and against the Jordanian army, including a raid on the Harut base. The fighting along Israel’s eastern border ceased after the events of “Black September” in September 1970, when King Hussein of Jordan expelled The PLO from Jordan.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. After the Six Day War Yasir Arafat assumed the leadership of the organization. As a first step, Arafat tried to organize civil disobedience among the Palestinians living under Israeli rule. The revolt never took place because the Israeli Arabs were not interested in participating in it since their standard of living had risen under Israeli rule.After he didn’t succeed in organizing the Arabs of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, Arafat moved his base to Jordan.
There were many attacks on the Jordan Rift, the Jordan Valley and the Beit Shean Valley that were carried out from Jordan. Israel shelled the terrorist bases deep in Jordan. Jordan suffered greatly, which led King Hussein of Jordan to expel Arafat. Arafat and the terrorist bases moved to Lebanon, creating tension along the northern border. Arafat sent terrorists all over the world, including Israel. Arafat used international terror in order to make the world aware of the Palestinian problem, and so began the stage of worldwide terror, which included hijacking airplanes and the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics.