From War to War
The war of 1967 was to prove as decisive in its consequences as that of 1948–9. It left Israel firmly in control of all the land of mandatory Palestine, as well as extensive Egyptian and Syrian territory, and tilted the balance of Middle East power firmly in an Israeli direction. As tensions between Israel and the Syrian-Fatah alliance grew in the winter of 1966–7, the Middle East edged towards war. Two events in November 1966 stand out as marking the new levels of tension. The first was the signing of a defensive pact between Nasser and the Syrians. While this gave Syria the confidence of powerful support, it was bound to involve Nasser more closely in the increasingly tense confrontation between Damascus and Israel, even though he was careful to give private assurances to the Americans that he would not allow the agreement to drag him into war. Confirmation of the deterrent effect of the new pact seemed to come quickly when Israel mounted a large-scale raid on the Jordanian village of Samu in retaliation for Fatah raids.
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