Air raid ???ir???ns were sounded in Tel Aviv at mid-day on Saturday as thousands of?
Air raid ???ir???ns were sounded in Tel Aviv at mid-day on Saturday as thousands of Israelis were attending their synagogues to celebrate their holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur. Within minutes the Israelis accused Egyptian and Syrian forces of crossing the ceasefire lines in the Golan Heights and Sinai.
A second announcement a short time later, said that the Israeli Government was meeting in emergency session, and had heard a report by the Defence Minister Moshe Dayan on Egyptian and Syrian troop concentrations.
Israeli Government spokesmen claimed that they had been attacked first, while Egyptian and Syrian statements claimed that Israel was the aggressor.
When the crisis broke, Israeli radio had not been broadcasting because of the Yom Kippur fast, but after the first announcement, broadcasts were immediately resumed. Appeals were broadcast for the populace to keep off the streets, but cars quickly appeared once the first air-raid warning was over.
Throughout the rest of the day, the radio service broadcast code names used for calling up army reservists. The radio continued to broadcast classical music and short news reports.
In Jerusalem, road blocks were set up between the Arab eastern part of the city and the western section. Vehicles from the Arab side were not allowed through.
By the end of the day, it was clear that Egyptian tanks had crossed the Suez Canal, and Israel was engaged in heavy battles on both fronts against numerically superior forces.
In the Mediterranean, leave was cancelled for sailors of the United States Sixth Fleet, and in Washington a special action group met to consider the situation -- described as "critical" by the Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.
At the United Nations, Syria complained to the Security Council that Israel had attacked along the whole of their ceasefire line, and was waging "total war". Egypt accused Israel of mounting air and naval attacks in the Gulf of Suez, and asked for a special meeting of the General Assembly.
SYNOPSIS: Air raid sirens broke the peace of Israel's holy festival, Yom Kippur, at mid-day on Saturday, as there were reports of heavy fighting against Syrian and Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsular and along the Syrian ceasefire line. Civilians who had been in their synagogues, ran to air raid shelters, and in the city streets military vehicles dashed to collect Army reservists from their homes.
Israeli Radio, which had been off the air because of the Holy Festival, began broadcasting news bulletins and classical music. The music was frequently interrupted by code names, used to call up reservists. Shortly after the crisis was first announced, a Government statement said the Israeli Cabinet was meeting in emergency session. The Defence Minister, Moshe Dayan, had reported on Egyptian and Syrian troop movements.
Later in the day, General Dayan admitted that Israel had suffered losses under the Arab attacks. Israeli forces were engaged in big battles in Sinai and along the length of the Syrian ceasefire line. They were facing numerically superior forces in the heaviest fighting since the Arab/Israeli War in 1967.