Sunday 7 October
“Our forces crossed the canal and breached the Bar Lev Line” read the headline of Al-Ahram daily the day after the eruption of fighting at the border of the occupied Sinai Peninsula on 6 October 1973. The story announced the Egyptian military’s ability to make it across Israeli defensive fortification line which had previously been thought to be almost impenetrable.
The daily said the attack started at 2pm in response to what the army said was an attempted Israeli aerial and naval attack on Egypt via the Gulf of Suez.
Al-Ahram said that 11 Israeli jets were downed in comparison to ten from Egypt and that a tank battle took place inside the peninsula overnight and was still ongoing.
News from the Syrian front, where another front of the war had been launched simultaneously by Egypt’s ally, also featured on the front page. The paper reported that Syrian forces had advanced into the occupied Golan Heights and downed three Israeli planes.
Diplomatic news was positioned on the left below the headline and deck and included reports that Arab kings and presidents contacted Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and that the Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev had sent him a letter.
Al-Ahram also quoted a US State Department spokesperson saying that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had received orders from President Richard Nixon to make urgent diplomatic efforts to stop the fighting.
In an editorial, the column on the far right, Al-Ahram praised the decision to fight and exalted the battling soldiers.
“Those men who bravely took it upon themselves to take a bold decision are not only carrying the Egyptian flag today, but the future and destiny of Egypt. They are not only carrying the future and destiny of Egypt, but the future and destiny of an entire Arab nation …They are true soldiers; this is their place and this is their stature,” the editorial read.