Israel commenced the war against Egypt with a devastating pre-emptive airstrike on the morning of 5 June, successfully destroying the bulk of the Egyptian air force. They further wrongfooted the Egyptians by orienting their main assault on Sinai to the north (in the Suez Crisis of 1956, their main thrust came from the south). After fierce fighting around Rafa, the Israelis surged towards El Arish occupying the town early on 6 June, then splitting to move on both the Suez Canal and inland to capture Gebel Libni. The ancillary attacks launched into central and southern Sinai, rapidly capturing Abu Ageila and Kuntilla, then converged upon Nekhl. The Israelis then decided to encircle the retreating the Egyptians forces, ambushing them in the Giddi and Mitla passes, killing thousands. With the capture of Ras Sedr on 8 June, the war in the Egyptian sector was effectively over.
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