Nasser and the origins of the Suez Crisis / Chapter 4


1. Nasser and the origins of the Suez Crisis

Israel and its Arab neighbous

  • Israel and Syria. In 1949, theUN had persuaded Israel and Syria to agree to a demlitarised zone along their border. This area was in the new state of Israel. There were incidents of shelling and disputes over Israel's attempts to divert the waters of the River Jordan
  • Israel and Jordan. the new state of Jordan was made up of old Transjordan and the West Bank where most Palestinian refugees settled. Every time these Palestinians would cross a boder, there were Israeli reprisals (Israelis targeted Arab villages which they suspected of helping the infiltrators). In October the Israeli forces attacked the Jordanian village of Qibya, killing more than 50 civilians
  • Israel and Egypt. The most frequent killings occurred in these region with Gaza stripe where 300,000 Palestinians found their new homes. Palestinians would sometimes raid Israel lands and these raids were carried out by "fedayeen". However, IDF retailated with reprisal raids. 

Egypt and the rise of Nasser

  • The Suez Canal. It was built by the French and British. It was a vital link for Britain to get oil supplies and troops from the East. 2/3 of the fuel supplies of western Europe passed through the Canal (15,000 ships/year). The waterway was so vital that British had 70,000 troops stationed in the Canal zone. This was intolerable to many Egyptians. They saw it as Britain's imperialism. Many Egyptians blamed their King Farouk for this weakness. Some Egyptians, in the army, blamed the government for their defeat by the Israelis in 1949. Many accussed the authorities of supplying them with poor equipment and incompetent commanders.
  • Nasser and the Egyptian Revolution. Nasser was one of young officers who has risen up through the ranks of the army. A group of young officers, Free Officers, planned to overthrow the government. In July 1952, they took over the key government buildings and announced on the radio about the revolution. They allowed the king to flee the country. In 1954, Nasser became president. He persuaded the British to withdraw their troops form the Suez zone. Britain agreed as wanted to be in a good relationship because they wanted an alliance with Egypt as it was the strongest Arab nation in the time of the Cold…


No comments have yet been made