Israeli soldiers stand over captured Egyptians and Palestinians at the start of the war on June 5, 1967 [Getty Images]
December 01, 2017
AN historical letter sent from the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia to the then US President, Lyndon B Johnson, in 1966 reveals the monarch’s possible collusion with the US over Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. Published by Al Motamar net news website, it has been described as “dangerous” by former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has long promised to reveal the contents of the document.
“King Faisal’s letter to US President Lyndon Johnson said that the Egyptian forces would not withdraw from Yemen unless Israel moved to occupy Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank,” explained Saleh. The Head of the General People’s Congress urged the current Yemeni president and the rest of the Arab countries participating in the Saudi-led coalition, especially Egypt, to withdraw immediately from the alliance fighting in Yemen. “The events in Saudi Arabia, the blockade on Qatar, and the Sudanese President’s visit to Russia are all a part of the changing equations [in the Middle East],” he claimed.
Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975. Photo by Robert L. Knudsen, Robert L. Knudsen/Wikipedia
According to Saleh, the letter mentions what King Faisal described as Egypt’s dangerous role in Yemen and the region in general through its support of the rebels and provoking the people’s emotions against “us all” — the US and Saudi Arabia — as well as Egypt’s ongoing and historical efforts to overthrow “our governments”. Faisal also called Egypt “the greatest enemy” of Saudi Arabia and the US.
Egyptian warplanes lie destroyed on the tarmac after a pre-emptive Israeli Air Force strike on June 5, 1967. Photo by Getty Images
In his letter, the then Saudi monarch stressed the need for the US to support Israel to carry out a swift operation against Egypt by which it would control vital areas in the country — the Sinai Peninsula — not only forcing the government in Cairo to withdraw its forces from Yemen, but also to distract Egypt with Israel for as long as possible. King Faisal also suggested that the Gaza Strip under Egyptian control should be seized immediately, and believed that it was important to take control of the West Bank from Jordan in order for the Palestinians to lose hope of having control of any land administered by an Arab government.
Click here to read the letter, posted by MEMO. It’s in Arabic but an English Translation is provided.
By Zena Tahhan, Al Jazeera
June 06 2017
THIS IS PART OF THE AL JAZEERA ARTICLE. To read the WHOLE click here
Fifty years ago this week, the state of Israel shocked the world when it seized the remaining Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, in a matter of six days.
In a war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, known as the 1967 War, or the June War, Israel delivered what came to be known as the “Naksa”, meaning setback or defeat, to the armies of the neighbouring Arab countries, and to the Palestinians who lost all what remained of their homeland.
The Naksa was a continuation of a prior central event that paved the way for the 1967 war. Nineteen years earlier, in 1948, the state of Israel came into being in a violent process that entailed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
In the 1967 War, Israel took control of the shaded areas of the Egyptian Sinai, Syrian Golan Heights, and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Zionist forces, in their mission to create a “Jewish state”, expelled some 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland and destroyed their villages in the process. Shortly after Israel declared statehood, units of the neighbouring Arab country armies came in to fight for the Palestinian nation.
The 1948 War ended with Israeli forces controlling approximately 78 percent of historic Palestine. The remaining 22 percent fell into the hands of Egypt and Jordan.
In 1967, Israel absorbed the whole of historic Palestine, as well as additional territory from Egypt and Syria. By the end of the war, Israel had expelled another 430,000 Palestinians from their homes and gained territory that was three and a half times its size.