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Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 12 The Six Day War—1967

John Quigley

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 May 2024

Armed conflict, international — Reprisal — Self-defence — Aggression — Precedent

This contribution analyzes the 1967 hostilities that began when Israel attacked Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula. It sets out the relations between Israel on the one hand and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria on the other that provided the background for the hostilities. It recounts actions by Egypt that provided the immediate context for the hostilities. It examines Israel’s claim made in the United Nations Security Council that Egypt opened the hostilities, and Egypt’s rejection of that claim. It examines the reaction of the international community when the hostilities were assessed first in the Security Council and then in a special session of the General Assembly. These hostilities have been widely taken as having involved anticipatory self-defense on Israel’s part, and as a precedent justifying anticipatory, or preventive, military action. This contribution examines the extent to which that analysis is warranted.

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