Key point: War is about more than numerical advantages.
The Israeli Defense Force’s (IDF’s, or Zahal’s) strategic invasion of the West Bank region of Jordan began at 5 pm on June 5, 1967. The assault was launched by one of two armored brigades attached to the Peled Armored Divisional Task Force (Ugdah Peled), part of Zahal’s Northern Command. Initially, the attack was aimed merely at neutralizing Royal Jordanian Army 155mm artillery fire that was striking the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF’s) strategically vital Ramat David Air Base and numerous Israeli villages and towns within range of Jordanian Samaria.
Ugdah Peled’s planning started from scratch. Absorbed for days with preparing to counter an expected all-out Arab invasion of northern Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights, the bulk of Ugdah Peled was given somewhat under five hours to figure out how to invade Samaria, and then to do it. It was not until noon on June 5 that the division commander, Brig. Gen. Elad Peled, was himself called in from a patrol along the Syrian frontier to oversee the planning.
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The Junction at Jenin
Ugdah Peled’s immediate objective was obvious to anyone who could read a map: the regional center of Jenin. Although the city stood on the Jordanian side of the line, it was geographically at the southern terminus of Israel’s Jezreel Valley. The Jordanian 155mm artillery that was endangering so many Israelis was based nearby, and that certainly was Ugdah Peled’s chief objective.