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Knesset Highlights: Sixth Knesset

(1965 - 1969)

The sixth Knesset moved to the Knesset's permanent building at Givat Ram. The main event during the term of the sixth Knesset, which it dealt with extensively, was the Six Day War - the waiting period before the war, its course, its results and the internal debate which began in Israel around Security Council Resolution 242 regarding the territories occupied by the IDF.

Soon after the fighting ended Prime Minsiter Levi Eshkol announced the unification of Jerusalem, and the Knesset added to the Government and Legal Procedures Ordinance, article 11b regarding the application of the Israeli justice, jurisdiction and administration systems to Jerusalem.

The War and its results created difficulties for Israel in the international arena. Upon the outbreak of the War, France - Israel's main supplier of arms - imposed a military embargo on it, and thus left Israel with no other option but to depend almost exclusively on the U.S.

Soon after the fighting ended, all the countries of the East bloc, except Romania, broke off their diplomatic relations with Israel. Following the establishment of the PLO in its new version, in 1968, a wave of hijackings of and attacks on commercial airlines began. An El-Al plane was first hijacked to Algeria in October 1968.

The sixth Knesset was the first in which the cystallization of two main political blocs became apparent: Gahal, which was made up of Herut and the Liberal Party and the Alignment, which in its first version included Mapai and Ahdut Ha'avodah and in its second version - the Israel Labor Party (made up of Mapai, Ahdaut Ha'avodah and Rafi) and Mapam.

On the eve of the Six Day War, Israel's first national unity government was formed, with the participation of Gahal. The sixth Knesset was also the first to which a small new faction, which acted as a radical protest party - the Olam Hazeh Koah Hadash, headed by Uri Avneri - was elected.

In the year and a half that preceded the war, the Knesset dealt extensively with the economic depression in the Israeli market, and, in 1966, finally terminated the military administration over the Arab population of Israel. Both Gahal and Uri Avneri demanded the implementation of a national health insurance system. The religious parties raised the issue of organ transplantations.

The issue of the disappearance of the children of Yemenite families in the early years of the state first came up, and an investigation commission was set up to deal with it. The problem of elected representatives in local government changing political allegiances in return for material benefit - Kalanterism - also came up for debate. In 1966, black and white television broadcasts began in Israel.

Sources: The Knesset