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LONDON: There is a gradual recognition in the Western capitals that Israel’s military conquests may be short-lived and that it is only a matter of time before the Arab Powers open a second round in the Arab-Israeli war to regain the territories lost last week.

Israel’s military successes last week can be ascribed to deception, camouflaged aid and skill in modern mechanised warfare. In the early hours of last Monday [June 5], the French-built Israeli jet aircraft in massive numbers struck against 25 air bases in the UAR, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, using a hitherto secret lightweight fragmentation bomb with a guidance system. To avoid detection by the Egyptian radar, the planes approached their targets from the west. The deployment of lighter bombs and rockets enabled the Israeli aircraft to make prolonged swoops.

Partly lulled by assurances from the United States and the Soviet Union, the Arab Powers were caught unprepared and they lost many of their aircraft on the ground. Once deprived of air cover, the Arab armour and infantry ranged against Israel was subjected to merciless attacks round-the-clock by enemy aircraft. The secret fragmentation bomb, believed to be of French design, was also used to destroy Arab armour after the attacks on the Arab air bases.

So far as psychological warfare and deception are concerned, it can be judged from the fact that Israeli Radio played Western symphony music and even announced partial demobilisation on the eve of last Monday’s [June 5] attack on the UAR. By contrast, Arab Radio stations continued playing martial music and broadcasting warnings to Israel.

That the UAR and Arab neighbours of Israel should have accepted at face value the warnings of the Big Powers who prevented them from striking first against Israel seems incredible. Even this correspondent was able to discern evidence after the return of Premier Wilson from his talks in Washington on June 2, of an impending Israeli sledgehammer blow against the Arabs to publish this warning on the front-page of “Dawn” on June 4.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2017