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Magnum Photographers
From the Archive
October 3, 2013
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

On October 6th, 1973 - the day of the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur - Egypt and Syria launched surprise attacks against Israeli positions on the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights. Their goal was to recapture land lost during the 1967 Six Day War, during which Egypt, Jordan and Syria had been humiliated by numerically inferior Israeli forces.

Ever mindful of possible retribution, during the years between the 1967 and 1973 conflicts, Israel spent time fortifying their lines in the Sinai along the Suez Canal. Though caught by surprise, the "Bar Lev" line held long enough to be relieved by Israeli reinforcements which then went on the offensive across the Suez and into Egyptian territory. At the mean time, well to the north Israeli forces successfully defended the Golan Heights and then went on the offensive deep into Syria.

The conflict ended in an Israeli victory and set up the region for a new round of prolonged negotiations.

Photographer Micha Bar Am documented the Suez between the wars and then returned to cover Israeli operations in the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War.