War of Independence

The War of Independence broke out immediately after the United Nations' decision to partition the Land of Israel, on November 29th 1947.

Irregular Palestinian Arab bands blocked the roads of approach to Jewish settlements, thus cutting them off and isolating them. 'Sherut Ha'avir' - created just before the UN decision - was the only aerial force resisting the Arab assaults. The core of Sherut Ha'avir was made up of a handful of pilots - mostly Israeli-born - succoring the Jewish settlements and fighters on the different fronts with just a few light planes.

Sinai Campaign (Operation "Kadesh")

The Sinai War broke out in October 29th 1956.

Attacks by Fedayin infiltrators along the border with the southern neighbor, the closure of the Tiran Straits and Egypt's growing military might - with Soviet assistance - were the reasons for initiating the war. The operation was coordinated, politically and militarily, with France and Britain, which were launching their own offensive, Operation 'Musketeer', aimed at taking control of the Suez Canal - which had been nationalized by Egypt's president Nasser on July 26th 1956.

Six Day War

On April 7th 1967, IAF planes shot down six Syrian MiGs.

Tension between the countries was at a record high, with Syria engaged in incessant shelling of Israel's northern settlements, and carrying out various forms of sabotage against Israel. On May 14th, Egyptian President Gamal Abd El-Nasser ordered a large scale movement of troops into the Sinai, and a few days later closed the Tiran Straits. The war was now a matter of time.

War of Attrition

The War of Attrition began when the Six Day War ended.

IAF jets began pounding terrorist concentrations in Jordan as well as Jordanian artillery, which in turn was busy shelling the Jordan Valley settlements. IAF helicopters were sent on chases after terrorist infiltrators from Jordan. Along the Suez Canal, there was daily fighting with Egyptian forces.

Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War broke out on October 6th 1973, in a surprise, unprovoked attack launched by Egypt and Syria.

It was to be the IAF's most difficult war. Egyptian ground forces crossed the Canal, and Egypt's planes swooped down on Israel's soldiers along the front line. Syrian planes also punished IDF positions, as Syria's artillery shelled Israeli settlements, and hundreds of its tanks swarmed westwards, wresting control of a large part of the Golan Heights.

The First Lebanon War

Tension along Israel's northern border increased in the course of 1981 following the lobbing of Katyusha rockets at Israeli settlements by terror orga

ceasefire declared in July 1981 was broken: the terrorists continued to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in Israel and abroad, and the threat to the northern settlements became unbearable. On June 3rd 1982 terrorists shot Shlomo Argov, Israel's Ambassador to Britain. Three days later, on June 6th 1982 the First Lebanon war broke out.

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