Isaiah 43:19.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

The Six Day War broke out on June 5, 1967, following three weeks of tension which began on May 15, 1967 when it became known that Egypt had concentrated large-scale forces in the Sinai peninsula. Egypt’s force buildup in the Sinai was accompanied by other serious steps: the United Nations Emergency Force stationed on the border between Egypt and Israel and Sharm el-Sheikh in 1957 and which had provided an actual separation between the countries was evacuated on May 19 upon the demands of the Egyptian president at the time, Gamal Abdel-Nasser; the Egyptian navy blocked the Straits of Tiran, located at the end of the Gulf of Eilat, on the night of May 22-23, 1967, preventing the passage of any Israeli vessels; and on May 30, 1967, Jordan joined the Egyptian-Syrian military alliance of 1966 and placed its army on both sides of the Jordan river under Egyptian command. Iraq followed suit. It agreed to send reinforcement and issued a warning order to two brigades: Contingents arrived from other Arab countries including Algeria and Kuwait. Israel was confronted by an Arab force of some 465,000 troops, over 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft.

The War in the Air

The Six-Day War started with a far-reaching air attack, code named “Moked”, to shatter the Arab air forces while their aircraft were still on the ground. The attack was planned even before General Mordechai (Moti) Hod, had been appointed Air Force Commander. The main element of the plan was to carry out a massive, simultaneous attack of Israeli first-line aircraft against all Egyptian air force bases – the main Arab air force. This required exact and detailed planning of departure times and approaches of each of the attacking forces, in order to ensure the element of surprise on every target. On the morning of June 5, the aircraft of the IAF took off from their bases and attacked Egyptian air force bases in Sinai and Egypt. During the first wave, eleven fields were hit (among them some that had also been attacked in the first wave).

In a short, efficient and decisive blow, approximately 300 Egyptian aircraft, including bombers, combat planes and helicopters, were destroyed in less than 2 hours. The main air threat against Israel was eliminated and the Israel Defense Forces achieved air supremacy when Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi aircraft attacked targets in Israel. Once it was clear that King Hussein, the Jordanian leader, had chosen to undertake a military campaign on the Jerusalem front, the Israel Air Force turned to the Jordanian airfields in Amman and Mafrak and destroyed a large part of the Jordanian Air Force. When the confrontation was further extended on the same day over Syria and Iraq, Israeli aircraft continued their combat against these countries and also destroyed their aircraft. Airfields attacked in Syria included Damascus, Damir and Seikel. In Iraq, the H-3 airfield in the vicinity of the Jordanian border was attacked. Before the end of the first day of fighting, the air forces of the participating Arab states had been destroyed, thereby determining the fate of the entire war. Israeli armored forces could then fight the battle under “clear skies”, and air force pilots were free to provide support to IDF ground forces in all the sectors, the breakthrough and transportation axes without leaving the rear of the State of Israel in danger of air attack. Israel Air Force losses in the fateful day of the battle were a total of 20 aircraft. Twelve pilots were killed, five were wounded and four captured.