AN ISRAELI SOLDIER carries an artillery shell in the desert of the Sinai peninsula, on 9 October 1973. Three days earlier, on 6 October, Egypt and Syria made incursions into the Sinai peninsula and the Golan heights, respectively—both territories that Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War, in 1967. In 1973, the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur fell on 6 October, which resulted in the conflict that began on the day being called the Yom Kippur War. (In the Arab world, it is often referred to as the Ramadan War, since it occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.)
Although Egypt and Syria initially made impressive gains, Israel mobilised its forces quickly and, within a few days, managed to counter both offensives. The war also became a site of Cold War tensions, with the United States lending support to Israel and the Soviet Union to Egypt and Syria.
On 22 October, the United Nations, in line with a joint proposal by the United States and the Soviet Union, called for a ceasefire in the Yom Kippur War. Still, hostilities raged for a few more days, finally coming to an end on 26 October.