The PLO and the Six-Day War, 1957-1967


  • 10 January 1960, Radio Cairo-
     “The Arab people await the hour of the holy march…Gaza will be the base of this march.”
  • 2 February 1960, Radio Cairo- “We are getting ready for the decisive battle, and, at the right moment, we will strike with power and with speed. All our coming battles with Israel will be battles of life or death.”
  • 3 February 1960, Radio Cairo- “Our forces, reinforced after the unification of Egypt and Syria, have taught the Israelis a lesson. In the south, our heroes are stationed on the border, awaiting the signal…to fall upon Israel and deliver the fatal blow that will bring about her end.”
  • 10 March 1960, Radio Damascus- “The Arabs are determined that Israel shall be uprooted from their midst at any price.”
  • 30 March 1960, “The Voice of the Arabs” Radio, Cairo- “The guarantee for peace in the Middle East lies in our weapons, in the strength of our own army, and we shall impose the peace, O Israel – we shall impose the peace on the day we will drive you into the expanse of the sea.”
  • 31 March 1961, President Nasser of Egypt in a letter to King Hussein of Jordan- “I have no doubt that Your Majesty will be pleased to know that the UAR Army has been reinforced in a manner that gratifies every Arab. If Your Majesty will recall that the UAR Defence budget now comes to a figure of 120m. Egyptian pounds, the magnitude of the sacrifice the people is making will reveal itself in all its great dimensions before Your eyes, as will its uncompromising decision to accept responsibility against the common enemy of the entire Arab nation – namely, Israel.”


Arab Nationalism


IDF Enters Jerusalem, 1967

IDF Enters Jerusalem, 1967

  • 1 September 1960, President Nasser of Egypt- “If the refugees return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist.”
  • 15 September 1960, The Jordan daily, “Falastin”- “In all frankness, we want to eliminate Israel…and care not when Israel protests that we contemplate war and jeopardize her security…because this is exactly our aim. Non-aggression pacts stand in the way of the realization of this aim.”
  • 13 October 1960, Radio Cairo- “Referring to Palestine in his address to the UN General Assembly, Nasser outlines two levels in the campaign. The first is the field of the armed armistice, which the Arabs will, in their own good time, turn into a battle-field – a battle of vengeance and blood, the battle of Palestine…“We do not deny that we want war. We want war; this is our right. The return of Palestine is impossible without war.”
  • 29 April 1961, The Egyptian daily, “Al-Gumhouriya”- “Today it is in our power to defeat Israel. Israel knows that full well, and is frightened of it. The day will yet come when we shall defeat the great aggression and purge our country of the very existence of Israel.”
  • 15 May 1961, Radio Amman- “There is no doubt that our war with Israel is imminent. We should therefore be prepared and mobilize all our resources…We will strengthen our forces and liquidate Israel completely so that she will disappear from the face of the earth.”
  • 16 June 1961, Radio Amman- “We see in Israel a plague that should be utterly rooted out.”
  • 12 July 1961, Radio Amman- “The relationship between the Arab States and the State of Israel is a relationship between enemies…The establishment of peace in the area will be made possible only through the liquidation of the enemy State.”
  • 22 July 1961, President Nassser of Egypt- “In secret documents we say the same as in our speeches and discussion, and you know it…We move to protect our rights, and our movement is the spearhead along a broad battlefront, starting with worlds and ending with the firing of guns.”
  • 17 August 1961, President Nasser of Egypt- “We will act to realize Arab solidarity and the closing of the ranks that will eventually put an end to Israel…We will liquidate her…”
  • 13 September 1961, “The Voice of the Arabs” Radio, Cairo- “It is obvious that the return of one million Arabs to Palestine will make them the majority of Israel’s inhabitants. Then they will be able to impose their will on the Jews and expel them from Palestine.”
  • 18 May 1962, President Nasser of Egypt- “I do not know of such things as semi-military operations. There may be war, but not semi-war…When the time comes for us to fight a war, it will be a comprehensive war…When I start a war, I want to take it to the only end I accept – which is decisive victory.
  • 21 May 1962, President Nasser of Egypt- “Insistence of our people on liquidating the Israeli aggression on a part of the Palestine land is a determination to liquidate one of the most dangerous pockets of imperialist resistance against the struggle of the peoples.”
  • 23 December 1962, President Nasser of Egypt- “We feel that the soil of Palestine is the soil of Egypt, and of the whole Arab world. Why do we all mobilize? Because we feel that the land of Palestine is part of our land, and we are ready to sacrifice ourselves for it.”
  • 3 March 1963, The Jordan Daily, “Falastin”- “It would appear, on the face of it, that the concentration of the Jews in the Occupied Region (i.e. Israel), militates in favor of Zionism. In our view, however, in the long run it will favor the Arab nation…Why? Because this will turn Israel into one huge, worldwide grave for this whole Jewish concentration. And the day draws near for those who await it.”
  • 21 March 1963, Radio Cairo- “Egypt’s guided missiles have clarified to Israel that she cannot attain the serenity she longs for, as long as the United Arab Republic continues to strengthen its power in all fields with a view to securing supremacy over its enemies…The timing of Mrs. Mier’s statement expressing Israel’s concern over Egypt’s power and its guided missiles reflects Israel’s reaction to seeing Arab unity taking shape towards the great goal – i.e. the triumphant return to Palestine with the banner of unity flying high in front of the holy Arab march.”
  • 21 March 1963, Hassan Ibrahim, Member of the Egyptian Presidential Council- “Egypt has rocket bases capable of destroying Israel within a short time, and panic reigns in that country. Ben-Gurion has confirmed that he knows Egypt possesses rockets capable of destroying Israel.”
  • 23 March 1963, An Official Announcement in the Egyptian Daily, “Al-Gumhuriya”- “The noose around Israel’s neck is tightening gradually…Israel is no mightier than the empires which were vanquished in the Arab east and west…The Arab people will take possession of their united homeland.”
  • 2 April 1963, President Nasser of Egypt- “Israel emerged because the Arab world was weak and divided into small states devoid of character, but unity will mean triumph and the liquidation of Israel. Israel was alarmed in 1956 at the sight of the United Arab Military Command…If the United Command worried her, how will things look if unity is achieved…Israel is now indulging in hysterical activities out of fear of (Arab) unity, and if she is using the Egyptian rockets affair as a pretext, this means that the rockets are doubling her adversity…The airplane construction project in Egypt is causing Israel great anxiety and is terrorizing her. We have started the construction of planes whose speed is twice the speed of sound. Scientific research in Egypt is also arousing great fear, and scientific development is causing sleeplessness in Israel.”
  • 4 April 1963, The Egyptian Daily, “Al Akhbar”- “The liquidation of Israel will not be realized merely through a declaration of war against Israel by Arab States, but Arab unity and inter-Arab understanding will serve as a hangman’s rope for Israel.”
  • 19 August 1963, The Syrian Defense Minister, General Abdulla Ziada- “The Syrian Army stands as a mountain to crush Israel and demolish her. This army knows how to crush its enemies.”
  • 22 February 1964, President Nasser of Egypt- “The possibilities of the future will be war with Israel. It is we who will dictate the time; it is we who will dictate the place.
  • 2 March 1964, Amin Al-Hafez, President of Syria- “We will impose a blockade on the Zionist cancer in the occupied part of Arab Palestine.”
  • 12 April 1964, King Hussein of Jordan- “Jordan, with its Left and Right Bank, is the ideal jumping ground to liberate the usurped homeland.”
  • 27 July 1964, President Aref of Iraq- “A war with Israel is inevitable. There is no escaping that war.”
  • 29 October 1964, Ahmed Shukairy, Head of the Palestine Liberation Organization- “The plans, arrangements and foundations have been laid upon which the Palestine Army will arise. Our next step will be to guarantee the fulfillment of these needs and to translate the plans and arrangements into the realm of action, into the realm of the battlefield.
  • 30 October 1964, Salah Jadid, Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Armed Forces- “Our army will be satisfied with nothing less than the disappearance of Israel.”
  • 25 May 1965, Joint Declaration of President Nasser of Egypt and President Aref of Iraq- “The political leadership emphasizes its commitment to the decision of the Summit Conference regarding the plan of collective Arab action for the liberation of Palestine. In accordance with that plan the Arab national aim is the elimination of Israel.”
  • 16 September 1965, President Nasser of Egypt- “The war with Israel is an inevitable thing. This war could break out in another five or ten years. The Arabs waited seventy-five years until they succeeded in chasing out the Crusaders…”
  • 7 March 1966, President Al-Atassi of Syria- “Through their past experience in the struggle, and in their fight against all imperialist forces, our people have become convinced that the all-out people’s war of liberation is the only road to the liberation of Palestine and the smashing of imperialist and reactionary plans.”
  • 8 March 1966, President Al-Atassi of Syria- “The Palestine question is the basic subject in the revolution’s programme. The liberation of Palestine has been the cornerstone in the revolution’s plan and national policy…The Palestine battle is a liberation war in the complete sense of the word. The revolution believes that delaying the battle only increases the enemy’s power.”
  • 13 March 1966, The Syrian Daily, “Al-Ba’ath”- “The revolutionary forces in the Arab homeland, and the Ba’ath at their head, preach a genuine Arab Palestine liberation, on the soil of Palestine, and they have had enough of the traditional methods…It has become evident that our problem will only be solved by an armed struggle to expel the rapacious enemy, and put an end to the Zionist presence. The Arab people demands armed struggle, and day-by-day incessant confrontation, through a total war of liberation in which all Arabs will take part, and the Palestinians at their head. We expect the Arab leaders to understand the axiom, that the shortest distance two points is a straight line, and the shortest road to victory is through armed struggle.”
  • 12 May 1966, The Syrian Commander-in-Chief, General Suydani- “As for the statements of the so-called ministers and officials in Israel that they will punish states which support the commando forces…We tell them that we shall wage a liberation war against them as the party has decided, and fear and alarm will fill every house in Israel.”
  • 19 May 1966, Radio Damascus- “When our revolution declared that they way to liberate Palestine is through a popular war, it knew beforehand that the meaning of this declaration is an open and decisive confrontation with Israel. It is one in which not only Syria will take part, but all the Arab revolutionary forces, and the entire Arab people.”
  • 22 May 1966, President Al-Atassi of Syria- “We raise the slogan of the people’s liberation war. We know the strength of the forces of reaction and Zionism but at the same time we know the way to stand up against these forces…We raise the slogan of the people’s liberation war. We want total war with no limits, a war that will destroy the Zionist base.”
  • 24 May 1966, Hafiz Asad, Syrian Defence Minister- “We say- We shall never call for, nor accept peace. We shall only accept war and the restoration of the usurped land. We resolved to drench this land with our blood, to oust you, agressors, and throw you into the sea for good…We must meet as soon as possible and fight a single liberation war on the level of the whole area against Israel.”
  • 15 July 1966, Radio Damascus- “We are immune against all deceit or diversion as regards our internal aims and our internal Arab aims. We have decided quite clearly and simply to adopt the revolutionary method of liberating the Arab homeland from the hands of reaction and colonialism and liquidating Israel by a decisive popular war.”
  • 16 July 1966, Yusuf Zu’ayyin, Prime Minister of Syria- “The Zionists’ criminal methods will not affect the march of the revolution and will not be met with the traditional known policy. The popular liberation war which the Palestinian masses, backed by the Arab masses in the whole Arab homeland, have determined to wage, will foil the methods of Israel and those behind it. We say to Israel- Our reply will be harsh and it will pay dearly.”
  • 18 August 1966, Radio Damascus- “Syria has resolved to pursue its way, and continue preparing itself to bring about the liberation by way of popular revolutionary war. Our last punitive operations were no other than the strokes of an alarm bell, warning the bandit state that the hour of liberation is drawing nigh, and the Arab masses are tired of waiting…Syria has resolved to launch the campaign. She is convinced of victory, because all the Arab masses are behind her, tensed for action. Behind Syria, too, stand her friends in the socialist camp.”
  • 25 August 1966, Radio Damascus- “We declare that we are moving ahead with our preparation to launch a popular liberation campaign, and we shall not withdraw therefore despite all difficulties. For we know that by so doing we are carrying out the will of the Arab people and the Arab public, be the sacrifices what they may.”
  • 26 January 1967, Hafiz Asad, Syrian Minister of Defense- “Syria will not curtail the actions of the fedayeen (terrorists) even if these actions will lead to armed conflict between Syria and Israel.”
  • 20 May 1967, Hafiz Asad, Syrian Minister of Defense- “Our preparations for the aggression have been completed…Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression but to initiate the act of liberation itself and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united in the view that the battle must be speedily joined. We now await the signal from the political leadership. I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into the battle of liberation.”
  • 23 may 1967, President Nasser of Egypt- “Yesterday, the armed forces occupied Sharem el-Sheik. What is the significance of the occupation of Sharem el-Sheik by the armed forces? It means that we are giving tangible expression to our rights and our sovereignty over the Gulf of Aqaba…And there can be no question that we will allow under any circumstances the Israeli flag to pass through the Gulf of Aqaba. They, the Jews, threaten war, and we say to them- ‘You are welcome’.”
  • 25 May 1967, Radio Cairo- “The firm resolve of the Arab people is to wipe Israel off the map and to restore the Arab honour to Palestine.”
  • 25 May 1967, President Nasser of Egypt- “If we have succeeded in restoring the situation to what it was before 1956, then there is no doubt that God will help us and enable us to restore the situation to what it was before 1948.”
  • 26 May 1967, President Nasser of Egypt- “Many years have passed during which numerous people have tried to cast doubts about our intentions regarding Palestine. Clearly, it is easy to talk, but to act is difficult indeed…We waited for the appropriate day when we would be fully prepared, so that if we were to enter in battle with Israel we would be sure of victory and adopt strong measures…Recently, we felt that our strength is sufficient, and that in entering battle with Israel we will be able, with God’s help, to attain victory…And, indeed, the same is true with regard to Sharm-el-Sheikh. We were attacked by certain Arabs. The matter was simply impossible under any circumstances. The meaning of Sharm-el-Sheikh is a confrontation with Israel. Adopting this measure obligates us to be ready to embark on a general war with Israel.”
  • 28 May 1967, President Nasser of Egypt- “We will not accept any possibility of co-existence with Israel…today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab States and Israel…The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.”
  • 28 May 1967, Ahmed Shukairy, Head of the Palestine Liberation Organization- “China supplies us with weapons so that they be used for the liberation. The weapons of China which we have received free of charge will be put into action in order to destroy Tel-Aviv.”
  • 30 May 1967, Radio Cairo- “In the light of the blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba, two possibilities are open to Israel, each one of them soaked in blood- either she will die from strangulation of the Arab military and economic blockade, or she will die in the hail of bullets of the Arab forces surrounding her in the south, the north and the east.”
  • 30 May 1967, President Nasser of Egypt- “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel in order to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq. Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation…This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arraigned for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not of mere declarations.”
  • 1 June 1967, President Aref of Iraq- “My sons, this day is the day of the battle and of revenge for your brothers who fell in 1948. It is the day of the removal of the shame. With the help of God we will meet together in Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
  • 1 June 1967, King Hussein of Jordan- “There is no doubt that I expect further cooperation with Egypt and with other Arab States both in the East and in the West, a cooperation based on mutual frankness. With this achieved, we will be able to march together along the right road which will lead to the removal of the disgrace and to the liberation of Palestine.”
  • 3 June 1967, From the Order of the Day Issued by General Abdul Muhsin Murtagi, Commander of the Egyptian Eastern Front- “The world now awaits you. You are about to enter the holiest of battles for your Arab homeland against the Israeli aggression and imperialism. The world awaits your holy struggle for the retrieval of the plundered right. You will win back this right by the force of justice, by the force of arms and by the force of faith.”
  • 5 June 1967, “The Voice of the Arabs” Radio, Cairo- “Destroy them and lay them waste and liberate Palestine. Your hour has come. Woe to you Israel. The Arab nation has come to wipe out your people and to settle the account. This is your end, Israel. All the Arabs must take revenge for 1948. This is a moment of historic importance to our Arab people and to the holy war. Conquer the land.”
  • 6 June 1967, Syrian Foreign Minister Makhous- “You know that popular wars of liberation are not conducted by planes and tanks. The source of strength of such wars is iron resolve, the absolute determination and faith in liberty. The Arab people have irrevocably decided to win whatever the price.”
  • 6 June 1967, President Nasser of Egypt- “We are facing you in the battle and are burning with desire to revenge the 1956 treachery. This will make the world realize what the Arabs are and what Israel is. It will also learn that the Arab soldier is a brave and tough fighting soldier and that the Arab people are a sacrificing, brave and heroic people…”

Excerpted from The Arab Design for Israel’s Annihilation: The Record of Aggression, 1958-1967.

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