Operation Kadesh


Units of the Israeli army in captured Gaza, 8.11.1956 (PHL\1089116)“Israel attacks Egypt – the Sinai Campaign (code name Kadesh). The world is astonished by the Israeli operation in Sinai, which within a few short days results in Israel’s capture of the entire Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza strip. The threat against Israel is eliminated and the straits of Tiran open to Israeli shipping vessels. At the same time, the armies of England and France attack the Suez Canal – which was nationalized a few months previously by the Egyptians – in order to restore international control and secure passage for ships of all nations. The Anglo-French operation, however, fails. Israel is pressured into withdrawing its forces from the occupied territories.” (Mordecai Naor, Zionism. The First 120 Years. Timeline, Articles, Documents and Glossary. The Jewish Agency for Israel, The Zionist Library, 2002, p. 155).

Moshe Sharett was the Minister for Foreign Affairs during Operation Kadesh. He was in India at the time of the operation. Sharett wrote about the Operation in his diary – he could not understand why Israel had initiated the attack on Egypt, and had difficulty in explaining Israel's moves to the prime minister of India and representatives of other states. The archive of Moshe Sharett and his hand written personal diary are kept at the CZA. The pictures of the operation are taken from the Philadelphia Collection – a photograph collection collected by the journal “The Philadelphia Enquirer”, which deals especially with military and security issues in Palestine\Israel.