One week earlier, Israel had called up all army reservists for active duty. News of the pact between Egypt, Syria and Jordan, effectively creating a noose around Israel’s borders, brought home to a frightened Israeli public the reality of an impending war. The media began discussing the prospects of a war with much bloodshed. The term “second Holocaust” was bandied around.

On the 27th of May, the Israeli government began instructing its citizens to prepare themselves for war, offering self-defense primers. Bomb shelters were prepared, and students dug bunkers across the land.

Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol delivered a national radio address in an attempt to calm the populace. Instead, he projected confusion and hesitancy. The Israeli public was in shock over the lack of confidence their prime minister demonstrated. The nation’s panic thickened.