39 years since the Yom Kippur War

On Yom Kippur 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated surprise assault against Israel, starting the three-week war

Date: 25/09/2012, 3:41 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Thirty-nine years ago on Yom Kippur – October 6, 1973 – Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated surprise attack against Israel, starting the Yom Kippur War.

That day, the holiest and most solemn of the Jewish calendar, the IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson announced that at approximately 2:00 p.m., “Egyptian and Syrian forces began an attack in both Sinai and the Golan Heights. Our forces are operating against the attackers.”

Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal, and Syrian forces entered the Golan Heights. Nonetheless, during three weeks of heavy battles, the IDF (Zahal) overcame initial Egyptian and Syrian gains and advanced to the western side of the Suez Canal and to the vicinity of the Syrian capital of Damascus.

The war lasted until October 24th, 1973, when a ceasefire was implemented.

Despite Israel’s military supremacy, the war took a great toll on all participating countries. During those three weeks of war, 2,691 IDF (Zahal) soldiers lost their lives defending Israel.

Negotiations in the following years led to disengagement agreements under the terms of which Israel withdrew from parts of the territories captured by the IDF (Zahal) during the Yom Kippur War.