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Abu Aweigila, Israel

ABU AWEIGILA (Ar. Abu ʿAweiqila), strategic position in eastern Sinai, about 19 road mi. (30 road km.) W. of Niẓanah . Situated near the course of Wadi el-Arish, at a road fork connected with el-Arish in the northwest and with Ismailiya in the west, it was a battlefield in the 1948, 1956, and 1967 wars. In one of the last battles of the War of Independence Israeli forces drove the Egyptians from ʿAslūj (near Revivim) through Niẓana to Abu Aweigila, and from there moved on in the direction of el-Arish. During the Sinai Campaign the capture of the stronghold ultimately decided the outcome of the war. Before the Six-Day War (June 1967) the Egyptians extended their fortifications for many kilometers to all sides of Abu Aweigila and stationed a division in the area. The capture of the position enabled the Israeli Army to break through to the entire Sinai Peninsula.

[Efraim Orni]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.