The War of Independence
The War of Independence, also known as the Arab-Israeli War really began in 1947 with a six-month civil war between Arab and Jewish fighters while they were under the jurisdiction of the British Mandate. Following the declaration of Israel’s independence in the UN on May 14th, 1948, the conflict turned into a full-fledged war fought between Israel and Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The war ended with the Armistice Agreement of 1949, giving Israel control of 78% of the territory comprising former Mandatory Palestine, while Egypt and Jordan received control of Gaza and the West Bank (of Jordan) respectively.
The Six-Day War
The Six-Day War began and ended in June 1967 and was fought between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The war was preempted with an airstrike from Israel which wiped out the Egyptian Air Force and an attack on Egyptian forces in the Sinai, inflicting heavy casualties for the Egyptian side. After heavy losses, Gamal Abdul Nasser, the president of Egypt, enlisted Syria and Jordan to participate. Due to the strong military strategy from Israel, all three Arab countries suffered heavy losses. Israel also gained control of land, including the Sinai Peninsula and East Jerusalem. And yes, the war only lasted six days!
Yom Kippur War (War of Attrition)
On the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, 1973, Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked Israel from the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Caught by surprise, it took Israel three days to mobilize most of its troops, but the IDF still managed to halt the Egyptian forces, resulting in a military stalemate. The Yom Kippur War paved the way for the Camp David Accords of 1978, which was the precursor for the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.