The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies concluded its three-day academic conference, “The June 1967 War: Fifty Years On” on the 22 May, 2017. The first of two sessions on the final day dealt with the impact of the war on the Palestinian guerrilla resistance, the second heard the personal testimonies of retired military officers who had fought on the side of various official Arab armies.
Main Altaher opened the first session with his paper, "The Impact of the War on the Palestinian Resistance". He used his platform to explore the repercussions of defeat for the development of the Palestinian resistance both militarily and on a social, grassroots level as well as organizationally, and for the relationship between the resistance and the Arab regimes and peoples. He also addressed the status of the Palestinian resistance before June 5, in its many manifestations, along with the attitudes of the Arab regimes, and the relations between the Palestinian armed resistance fighters to official Arab armies, coordinated under a united administration and Gamal Abdul Nasser. He also assessed the presence of other Palestinian organizations as well as the direct impact of the war on Fatah’s second coming. Altaher concluded that the defeat led the Palestinian masses to lose faith in the governments of Arab countries, eventually leading them to establish their own factions and political groups which were scattered in different Arab countries. With the end of the war, the Arab governments no longer pursued the Palestinian fedayeen, and some governments even began to put stock in their capabilities. Altaher also explained how the resistance overturned the defeat in order to strengthen Palestinian national action, and soon after began to pursue side projects.
The second speaker, Dr. Mohammed Samhouri presented his paper "The Impact of the June 1967 War on the Palestinian Economy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip." He explored the profound and long-term economic impact of the war on Palestine. With the occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military gained a tight grip on the Palestinian economy. Israel exploited land and water resources in these occupied Palestinian Territories for the benefit of its own economy. It also hindered the development of the Palestinian private sector, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of individuals and trade inside and outside of the occupied territories, and rendered the Palestinian economy hostage to the Israeli market. Israeli practices triggered economic collapse in the Gaza Strip and unprecedented humanitarian crises, which, in turn, led to increased unemployment, poverty and insecurity and the isolation of the Palestinian economy from its Arab neighbors. Ultimately the Palestinian economy was annexed by its Israeli counterpart.
The third speaker, Sari Akram Zuaiter, presented the paper, "The June 1967 War in the Memoirs of Akram Zuaiter", looking at his father, Akram Zuaitir's role in the Palestinian and Arab national movement. He spoke of the exaggerations about the progress and victories achieved by the Arab forces as broadcast by the Arab radio stations. The truth soon emerged that these claims had no credibility. The paper also took in the correspondence between the late King Hussein of Jordan and the Egyptian president, in which the two leaders discussed the results of the war and on the nature of the Arab-Western relations after the war.
The second session was devoted to the testimonies of officers who participated in the 1967 war. Major-General Abdelhamid Omran of Egypt gave testimony of his participation in the war, where he was a member of the committee to assess the readiness for war. Former Iraqi Field Marshal, who at the time of the 1967 War was a 1st Lieutenant, Younes Al Tharb, described the participation of the Iraqi army along the Jordanian and Egyptian fronts during combat. The panel concluded with Dr. Ghazi Rababa, who was a 1st Lieutenant of the Second Al Hussein Brigades in Jerusalem at the time of the fighting. Rababa offered shared with the audience some of his personal recollections of fighting in some of the more storied battles in Jerusalem, including in and near the Mandelbaum Gate.