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War of Attrition facts for kids

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Suez canal map
The Israeli–Egyptian war of Attrition was centered largely on the Suez Canal

The War of Attrition (1967–1970) was a war between Egypt and Israel. It ran from March 1969 to 7th August 1970 when the ceasefire was restored. It followed the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel won a victory and captured the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and the West Bank.


Both sides used attrition warfare in an attempt to weaken the other. Both Egypt and Israel thought that by wearing down the other they would gain an advantage in later negotiations. Egypt wanted its territory back from Israel. The leader of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, thought that by waging a low-grade war against Israel, he would exhaust their resources and get them to give up the territory. Israel wanted to secure its hold on the Sinai and annex it to Israel.


In the end, neither side achieved their goals. Egypt did not force an Israeli withdrawal. Israel still occupied the Sinai. Both sides claimed they won the war. The Israeli death toll included 5,000 soldiers and 600 civilians. Approximately 6,000 soldiers and 1700 civilians were wounded. Egypt lost about 4,000 soldiers and 900 officers. Another 2,000 Egyptian soldiers and 200 officers were captured. Egypt lost about 60% of its military equipment. The Suez Canal remained closed to shipping.

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