Part I: Background
. Part II: The Beginning; Egypt
. Part III: Syria and Jordan
. Part IV: Aftermath and Consequences
June 6, 1967: While the attacks by Israel in Egypt were ongoing, Jordan, despite pleas from Israel to stay uninvolved, resumed shelling Israeli settlements around Jerusalem, thus provoking the counterattack. There exists a rumor that Gammel Abdel Nasser told King Hussein that the planes that his radar were picking up going into Israel from Egypt were his, and they were commencing an attack. In fact, of course, these planes were Israeli planes returning from the pre-emptive strike on Egypt.
Whether this is true or not, Jordan decided to start bombing civilian Israeli sites in and around Jerusalem from their positions. They also occupied government hill in Jerusalem, a former UN post that was very strategically valuable for longer range bombing, which started almost immediately, and control of the Jerusalem area.
Israel's cabinet was informed of the military moves of Jordan, and while convened to discuss the situation in Egypt, was forced into making quick decisions about whether to counterattack. They decided for a limited response, taking back government hill and capture 2 other high points around Jerusalem for future safety. The Captains and Majors that were told to carry the action out with their respective commands went in, and found that the Jordanian army was not resisting, and their air support gave them an unbeatable advantage, so they decided to press the attack.
The only specific limiting directive that the troops had was not to approach the old city of Jerusalem, because the cabinet had decided that the international community would be much more likely to intervene if a city that the Christians were attached to was damaged in any way. In addition to this, the cabinet wanted to trade the gained territories for peace, and the thought that Jerusalem would be costly to take, and would have to be an initial concession just to begin talks, as well as further angering the Arab street.
The troops in the field, much like in Egypt, found that the opposition troops were uninterested in fighting. This was especially true given that they were not receiving orders from their commanders, but from Egypt, and the communications were basically non-existent, because of the time frame in which it was established. (The agreement for cooperation dated to only days before hostilities began.) Egypt also was confused as to what was happening, both in Jordan, and in their own territories. Nasser, for the first 3 days of the war (the 6th, 7th, and 8th) was given the propaganda reports, not the military reports from the field.
Over the course of the next two days, Israeli troops, largely without the encouragement of even their direct superior officers, were in control of large portions of the West Bank of what was then called Transjordan. The troops remember wreckage of Jordanian tanks blocking bridges over the Jordan river, and troops getting out of nearby tanks and running for the bridges on foot.
The cabinet, as it was informed of the progress of Israeli troops in Jordanian territory, told troops to move into the old city. They had decided that since most of the troops were not needed elsewhere, they would allow them to pursue the Jordanian troops to the Jordan River, and, finally, as the troops were mopping up last pockets of resistance, reluctantly agreed that having the only the old city of Jerusalem under Jordanian control was not productive, then assaulted, and took, the city. The parts of the city left to the Arabs already living there were left under their control, and the only Arabs dislocated were those that had taken Jewish homes after the 1948 war.
As the war in Egypt and Jordan petered out as Israel pushed as far as it reasonably could, The cabinet reconsidered a problem that it had thought was basically decided: What to do about Syria. Because of Israel's continual attempt to farm the demilitarized zones (with armored tractors,) which was part of its territory, the Syrians launched various projectiles as far as they could into Israel. The cabinet, since the troops were needed in areas where the existence of the state was threatened, decided that Syria was less than pressing. Since, however, the United Nations had not yet decided that a cease-fire was needed, despite the fact that Syria had offered a truce, Israel decided to go in.
The assault on Syria was conducted in large part without sufficient air support, as the fight with Jordan was still being pursued when combat with Syria began. The Israeli troops scaled cliffs to assault the fortress at Quneitra, allowing troops to move in. Before the ceasefire was finally imposed, during the days of June 9th and 10th Israel had managed to capture a significant amount of territories containing, in this instance, comparatively almost no civilians. This was at the loss of what is, proportional to thew population, about the same as the United states lost in an eight year period in Vietnam, 115 Israeli dead. This was the most significant loss of Israeli life of any of the Israeli movements during the war.
Next, The Six Day War: Aftermath and Consequences.
I realize that this was written almost entirely from a Israeli perspective. This is clearly partially a bias, but writing from any other perspective is almost impossible, given the fact that their countries allow no access to their archives, and almost nothing is known about how the leadership reacted or how the decisions they made were reached.
Little, Tom. (Revised by Masalha, Nur.) "Israel, History" The Middle East and North Africa, 2001. Pg. 634.
Oren, Michael B. "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East"
Zisser, Eyal. "June 1967: Israel's Capure of the Golan Heights" Israel Studies, 2002 pg. 168-194.