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1970 War of Attrition

The War of Attrition 1967 -1970

Following the 1967 Six Day War in June 1967, Egypt commenced a policy of shelling Israeli positions along the eastern side of the Suez Canal, which Israel had captured during that war. In the Egyptian view the Israeli occupation of the Sinai was illegal, and Egypt therefore had legal justification in fighting against it.

Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser believed that because most of Israel's army consisted of reserves, they could not withstand a lengthy war of attrition. He believed Israel would be unable to endure the economic burden, and that constant casualties would undermine Israeli morale.

The War of Attrition continued for three years. 1,424 Israeli soldiers and 100 civilians died. Another 2,000 soldiers and 700 civilians received wounds. Superior Israeli air-power and gunnery eventually slowed down and destroyed the Egyptian long-term assault. At this stage, with the rise of President Anwar Sadat after the death of Nasser (28 September] 1970), Egypt called for negotiations, but in vain. Egypt then planned for the assault against the Israeli Bar Lev Line[?] that almost had fatal results for Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Egypt's army crossed the canal and made inroads into the Sinai peninsula.

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External link The Real War of Attrition (http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/69iaf)

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