Once it became clear that the diplomatic campaign had failed, and following Jordan’s joining the Egyptian-Syrian alliance, Israel acted against the massing threat. On the dawn of June 5, Israel launched a dawn attack that destroyed the Egyptian air force. Once Jordan and Syria joined the fight against Israel, the war also included those countries. During the war, Israeli forces reached the Suez Canal, capturing territories of Judea and Samaria as well as the Golan Heights – a plateau from which the Syrians had often shelled Israeli communities, tripling its previous land area.
Israel, in the southwestern corner of Asia and the southeast shore of the Mediterranean sea, has a population of over 9 million and a total area of just over 20,000 square kilometers (slightly more than 8000 square miles), ranks 150th among nations in geographical size and 99th in population size. Its population is 80% Jewish and 20% Muslim.