List of wars involving Israel
|State of Israel|
This is a list of wars involving the State of Israel. Since its establishment in 1948, the State of Israel has fought eight recognized wars, two Palestinian intifadas, and a series of armed conflicts in the broader Arab–Israeli conflict.
Wars and other conflicts
Israel has been involved in a number of wars and large-scale military operations, including:
- Israeli war of independence (November 1947 – July 1949) – Started as 6 months of civil war between Jewish and Arab militias when the mandate period in Palestine was ending and turned into a regular war after the establishment of Israel and the intervention of several Arab armies. In its conclusion, a set of agreements were signed between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, called the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which established the armistice lines between Israel and its neighbours, also known as the Green Line.
- Reprisal operations (1950s–1960s) – Military operations carried out by the Israel Defense Forces during the 1950s and 1960s. These actions were in response to constant fedayeen incursions during which Arab guerrillas infiltrated from Syria, Egypt, and Jordan into Israel to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. The policy of the reprisal operations was exceptional due to Israel's declared aim of getting a high 'blood cost' among the enemy side which was believed to be necessary in order to deter them from committing future attacks.
- Suez Crisis (October 1956) – A military attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel, beginning on 29 October 1956, with the intention to occupy the Sinai Peninsula and to take over the Suez Canal. The attack followed Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam. Although the Israeli invasion of the Sinai was successful, the United States and USSR forced it to retreat. Even so, Israel managed to re-open the Straits of Tiran and pacified its southern border.
- Six-Day War (June 1967) – Fought between Israel and Arab neighbors Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The nations of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, and others also contributed troops and arms to the Arab forces. Following the war, the territory held by Israel expanded significantly ("The Purple Line") : The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, Golan Heights from Syria, Sinai and Gaza from Egypt.
- War of Attrition (1967–1970) – A limited war fought between the Israeli military and forces of the Egyptian Republic, the USSR, Jordan, Syria, and the Palestine Liberation Organization from 1967 to 1970. It was initiated by the Egyptians as a way of recapturing the Sinai from the Israelis, who had been in control of the territory since the mid-1967 Six-Day War. The hostilities ended with a ceasefire signed between the countries in 1970 with frontiers remaining in the same place as when the war began.
- Yom Kippur War (October 1973) – Fought from 6 to 26 October 1973 by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel as a way of recapturing part of the territories which they lost to the Israelis back in the Six-Day War. The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Egypt and Syria crossed the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights, respectively. Eventually Arab forces were defeated by Israel and there were no significant territorial changes.
- Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon (1971–1982) – PLO relocate to South Lebanon from Jordan and stage attacks on the Galilee and as a base for international operations. In 1978, Israel launches Operation Litani – the first Israeli large-scale invasion of Lebanon, which was carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in order to expel PLO forces from the territory. Continuing ground and rocket attacks, and Israeli retaliations, eventually escalate into the 1982 War.
- 1982 Lebanon War (1982) – Began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon to expel the PLO from the territory. The Government of Israel ordered the invasion as a response to the assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, by the Abu Nidal Organization and due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel made by the Palestinian guerrilla organizations which resided in Lebanon. The war resulted in the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon and created an Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon.
- South Lebanon conflict (1985–2000) – Nearly 15 years of warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and its Lebanese Christian proxy militias against Lebanese Muslim guerrilla, led by Iranian-backed Hezbollah, within what was defined by Israelis as the "Security Zone" in South Lebanon.
- First Intifada (1987–1993) – First large-scale Palestinian uprising against Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
- Second Intifada (2000–2005) – Second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified violence, which began in late September 2000.
- 2006 Lebanon War (summer 2006) – Began as a military operation in response to the abduction of two Israeli reserve soldiers by the Hezbollah. The operation gradually strengthened, to become a wider confrontation. The principal participants were Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israeli military. The conflict started on 12 July 2006 and continued until a United Nations-brokered ceasefire went into effect on 14 August 2006, though it formally ended on 8 September 2006, when Israel lifted its naval blockade of Lebanon. The war resulted in the pacification of southern Lebanon and in the weakness of the Hezbollah (which suffered serious casualties but managed to survive the Israeli onslaught).
- Gaza War (December 2008 – January 2009) – Three-week armed conflict between Israel and Hamas during the winter of 2008–2009. In an escalation of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israel responded to ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with military force in an action titled "Operation Cast Lead". Israel opened the attack with a surprise air strike on 27 December 2008. Israel's stated aim was to stop such rocket fire from and the import of arms into Gaza. Israeli forces attacked military and civilian targets, police stations, and government buildings in the opening assault. Israel declared an end to the conflict on 18 January and completed its withdrawal on 21 January 2009.
- Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) – Military offensive on the Gaza Strip.
- Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014) – Military offensive on the Gaza Strip as a response to the collapse of American-sponsored peace talks, attempts by rival Palestinian factions to form a coalition government, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the subsequent kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager, and increased rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants.
Other armed conflicts involving the IDF
- History of the Israel Defense Forces
- History of the Israeli Air Force
- Iran–Israel proxy conflict
- Israeli casualties of war
- Jewish military history
- List of modern conflicts in the Middle East
- List of wars involving the State of Palestine
- Timeline of Israeli history
- Violent conflicts involving the Yishuv
- "Q&A: Israel-Gaza violence". BBC News. 19 November 2012.
- "Israel and Hamas Trade Attacks as Tension Rises". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- Israeli military decorations by campaign
- Sandler, Stanley (2002). Ground Warfare: An International Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 160.
- Lorch, Netanel (2 September 2003). "The Arab-Israeli Wars". Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 9 March 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2007.
- Schiff, Zeev, A History of the Israeli Army (1870–1974), Straight Arrow Books (San Francisco, 1974) p. 246, ISBN 0-87932-077-X
- Herzog, The War of Atonement, Little, Brown and Company, 1975. Forward
- Insight Team of the London Sunday Times, Yom Kippur War, Doubleday and Company, Inc, 1974, page 450
- Luttwak and Horowitz, The Israeli Army. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Abt Books, 1983
- Rabinovich, The Yom Kippur War, Schocken Books, 2004. Page 498
- Revisiting The Yom Kippur War, P. R. Kumaraswamy, pages 1–2 ISBN 0-313-31302-4
- Johnson and Tierney, Failing To Win, Perception of Victory and Defeat in International Politics. Page 177
- Charles Liebman, The Myth of Defeat: The Memory of the Yom Kippur war in Israeli Society[permanent dead link] Middle Eastern Studies, Vol 29, No. 3, July 1993. Published by Frank Cass, London. Page 411.
- Loyola, Mario (7 October 2013). "How We Used to Do It – American diplomacy in the". National Review. p. 1. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- Siniver, Asaf. "Introduction." In The Yom Kippur War: Politics, Legacy, Diplomacy, 5. Oxford University Press.
- Eligar Sadeh Militarization and State Power in the Arab–Israeli Conflict: Case Study of Israel, 1948–1982 Universal-Publishers, 1997 p.119.
- Armies in Lebanon 1982–84, Samuel Katz and Lee E. Russell, Osprey Men-At-Arms series No. 165, 1985
- Hirst, David (2010). Beware of Small States. NationBooks. pp. 144–145. ISBN 978-1-56858-657-1.
In time, however, Arafat and his guerrilla leadership decided that they would have to withdraw, leaving no military and very little political or symbolic presence behind. Their enemy's firepower and overall strategic advantage were too great and it was apparently ready to use them to destroy the whole city over the heads of its inhabitants. The rank and file did not like this decision, and there were murmurings of 'treason' from some of Arafat's harsher critics. Had they not already held out, far longer than any Arab country in any former war, against all that the most powerful army in the Middle East – and the fourth most powerful in the world, according to Sharon – could throw against them? (...) But [Palestinians] knew that, if they expected too much, they could easily lose [Lebanese Muslim support] again. 'If this had been Jerusalem', they said, 'we would have stayed to the end. But Beirut is not outs to destroy.
- Helmer, Daniel Isaac. Flipside of the Coin: Israel's Lebanese Incursion Between 1982–2000. DIANE Publishing, 2010.
- "Land for Peace Timeline". British-Israeli Communications & Research Centre. 2006. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- "The Israeli Withdrawal from Southern Lebanon". The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- "Hezbollah 101: Who is the militant group, and what does it want?". Christian Science Monitor. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
Iran has also played an instrumental role in building up Hezbollah's military capabilities over the years, which enabled the group's impressive military wing to oust Israel from south Lebanon in 2000
- Amos Harel; Avi Issacharoff (1 October 2010). "Years of Rage". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Laura King (28 September 2004). "Losing faith in the intifada". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Jackson Diehl (27 September 2004). "From Jenin to Falluja". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Zeev Chafetz (22 July 2004). "The Intifadeh is over – just listen". World Jewish Review. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Major-General (res) Yaakov Amidror (23 August 2010). "Winning the counterinsurgency war: The Israeli experience". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Hillel Frisch (12 January 2009). "The need for a decisive Israeli victory over Hamas" (PDF). Begin–Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Lieutenant Colonel Ofek Bouchriss; Dr. Wallace A. Terrill (15 March 2006). "The "Defensive Shield" Operation as a Turning Point in Israel's National Security Strategy". United States Army War College. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Charles Krauthammer (18 June 2004). "Israel's Intifada Victory". The Washington Post. p. A29. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Sever Plocker (22 June 2008). "2nd Intifada forgotton". Ynetnews. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Moshe Yaalon (January 2007). "Lessons from the Palestinian "war" against Israel" (PDF). Washington Institute for Near East Policy. pp. 14–15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2007.
- Yoaz Hendel (20 September 2010). "Letting the IDF win". Ynetnews. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Yossi Klein Halevi; Michael B. Oren (20 September 2004). "Israel's unexpected victory over terrorism". World Jewish Review. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Zvi Shtauber; Yiftah Shapir (2006). The Middle East strategic balance, 2004–2005. Sussex Academic Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-84519-108-5. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
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