Both the Israelis and the Egyptians used the period of the second truce to reinforce their positions. Since the peace plan pushed by the UN would have given the Negev to the Arabs, Ben-Gurion knew that to keep it, the Israelis would have to take it by force. The opposing Egyptian forces were deployed in a large “H” formation with the Gaza Strip providing the left leg and the road from Egypt to Beersheba providing the right leg. The Israelis figured that if they could cut through the middle of the “H” that they would open the road to their cut-off kibbutzim in the Negev and in turn, cut off a brigade size force of Egyptians dug in at the Faluja Crossroads, which included a young Colonel Gamal Nasser.
Attacker: Israeli (Elements of the 52nd and 54th Battalions, Givati Brigade)
Defender: Arab (Elements of Saudi Independent Company 'A' and Egyptian MG Company, 6th Battalion and Egyptian 6th Battalion)