When the Free Officers deposed the king of Egypt in 1952, Israel hoped that the new regime would concentrate on land reform and solving Egypt's social problems, and be willing to make peace. But these hopes were disappointed. Nasser, who became prime minister in 1954, wanted to become the leader of the Arab world and threatened a "second round" of war. Incidents on the border with Gaza, then under Egyptian rule, multiplied and were followed by Israeli retaliation, in a spiral of escalation. Another problem area was Egyptian refusal to allow Israeli ships through the Suez Canal.
|Gamal Abdel Nasser|
|Newspaper headline on the execution of two of the agents, January 1955|