1949 Armistice Agreements

1949 Armistice Agreements

Discussion
Ask a question about '1949 Armistice Agreements'
Start a new discussion about '1949 Armistice Agreements'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and neighboring Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, and established armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 lines between Israeli forces and the forces in Jordanian-held West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, also known as the Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

.
The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 established supervising and reporting agencies to monitor the established armistice lines. In addition, discussions related to the armistice enforcement, led to the signing of the separate Tripartite Declaration of 1950
Tripartite Declaration of 1950
The Tripartite Declaration of 1950 , was a jointly issued statement by the United States, Britain, and France, which guaranteed the territorial status quo determined by Arab - Israeli armistice agreements. It developed from discussions related to the armistice...

 between the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. In it, they pledged to take action within and outside the United Nations to prevent violations of the frontiers or armistice lines. It also outlined their commitment to peace and stability in the area, their opposition to the use or threat of force, and reiterated their opposition to the development of an arms race. These lines held until the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

.

With Egypt


On 6 January 1949, Dr. Ralph Bunche
Ralph Bunche
Ralph Johnson Bunche or 1904December 9, 1971) was an American political scientist and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Palestine. He was the first person of color to be so honored in the history of the Prize...

 announced that Egypt had finally consented to start talks with Israel on an armistice. The talks began on the Greek island of Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

 on 12 January. Shortly after their commencement, Israel agreed to the release of a besieged Egyptian brigade in Faluja
Al-Faluja
al-Faluja was an Arab village in the British Mandate of Palestine, located 30 kilometers northeast of Gaza City. The village and the neighbouring village of Iraq al-Manshiyya formed part of the Faluja pocket, where 4,000 Egyptian troops were besieged for four months by the newly established Israel...

, but soon rescinded their agreement. At the end of the month, the talks floundered. Israel demanded that Egypt withdraw all its forces from the former area of Palestine. Egypt insisted that Arab forces withdraw to the positions which they held on 14 October 1948, as per the Security Council Resolution S/1070 of 4 November 1948, and that the Israeli forces withdraw to positions north of the Majdal
Ashkelon
Ashkelon is a coastal city in the South District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv, and north of the border with the Gaza Strip. The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age...

Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

 road.

The deadlock culminated on 12 February 1949 with the murder of Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna
Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna known as Hasan al-Banna was a schoolteacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential 20th century Muslim revivalist organizations.-Early life:Banna was born in 1906 in Mahmoudiyah, Egypt...

, leader of the Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

. Israel threatened to abandon the talks, whereupon the United States appealed to the parties to bring them to a successful conclusion.

On 24 February the Israel–Egypt Armistice Agreement was signed in Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

. The main points of the armistice agreement were:
  • The armistice demarcation line was drawn along the international border (dating back to 1906) for the most part, except near the Mediterranean Sea
    Mediterranean Sea
    The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

    , where Egypt remained in control of a strip of land along the coast, which became known as the Gaza Strip
    Gaza Strip
    thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

    .
  • The Egyptian forces besieged in the Faluja Pocket were allowed to return to Egypt with their weapons, and the area was handed over to Israeli military control.
  • A zone on both sides of the border around 'Uja al-Hafeer was to be demilitarized, and became the seat of the bilateral armistice committee.

With Lebanon


The agreement with Lebanon was signed on 23 March 1949. The main points were:
  • The armistice line ("Green Line
    Green Line (Israel)
    Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

    ", see also Blue Line (Lebanon)
    Blue Line (Lebanon)
    The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

    ) was drawn along the international boundary between Lebanon and Palestine.
  • Unlike the other agreements, there was no clause disclaiming this line as an international border, which was thereafter treated as it had been previously, as a de jure
    De jure
    De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

    international border
  • Israel withdrew its forces from 13 villages in Lebanese territory, which were occupied during the war.

With Jordan



The agreement with Jordan was signed on 3 April 1949. The main points:
  • Jordanian forces remained in most positions held by them in the West Bank
    West Bank
    The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

    , particularly East Jerusalem
    East Jerusalem
    East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

     which included the Old City.
  • Jordan withdrew its forces from their front posts overlooking the Plain of Sharon. In return, Israel agreed to allow Jordanian forces to take over positions in the West Bank previously held by Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

    i forces.
  • Exchange of territorial control: According to Article 6 Israel received a territory in the area known as Wadi Ara
    Wadi Ara
    Wadi Ara or Nahal Iron , refers to an area within Israel that is mostly populated by Arabs. It is located northwest of the Green Line and is mostly within Israel's Haifa District. Today, Highway 65 runs through the wadi.-Geography:...

     and the Little Triangle in exchange for territory in the southern hills of Hebron. In March 1949 as the Iraqi forces withdrew from Palestine and handed over their positions to the smaller Jordanian legion, 3 Israeli brigades manoeuvred into positions of advantage in Operation Shin-Tav-Shin. The operation allowed Israel to renegotiate the cease fire line in the Wadi Ara area of the Northern West Bank in a secret agreement reached on 23 March 1949 and incorporated into the General Armistice Agreement. The green line was then redrawn in blue ink on the southern map to give the impression that a movement into green line had been made. The events that led to a change in the Green Line was an exchange of fertile land in the Bethlehem area to Israeli control and the village of Wadi Fukin being given to Jordanian control. On 15 July when the Israeli Army expelled the population of Wadi Fukin after the village had been transferred to the Israeli-occupied area under the terms of the Armistice Agreement concluded between Israel and the Jordan Kingdom the Mixed Armistice Commission decided on 31 August, by a majority vote, that Israel had violated the Armistice Agreement by expelling villagers across the demarcation line and decided that the villagers should be allowed to return to their homes. However, when the villagers returned to Wadi Fukin under the supervision of the United Nations observers on September 6, they found most of their houses destroyed and were again compelled by the Israeli Army to return to Jordanian controlled territory.


The United Nations Chairman of the Mixed Commission, Colonel Garrison B. Coverdale (US), pressed for a solution of this issue to be found in the Mixed Armistice Commission, in an amicable and UN spirit. After some hesitation, this procedure was accepted and finally an agreement was reached whereby the Armistice Demarcation Line was changed to place Wadi Fukin under Jordanian authority who, in turn, agreed to transfer of some uninhabited, but fertile territory south of Bethlehem to Israel control.
  • A Special Committee was to be formed to make arrangements for safe movement of traffic between Jerusalem and Mount Scopus
    Mount Scopus
    Mount Scopus , جبل المشهد , جبل الصوانة) is a mountain in northeast Jerusalem. In the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Mount Scopus became a UN protected Jewish exclave within Jordanian-occupied territory until the Six-Day War in 1967...

     campus of Hebrew University, along the Latrun
    Latrun
    Latrun is a strategic hilltop in the Ayalon Valley in Israel overlooking the road to Jerusalem. It is located 25 kilometers west of Jerusalem and 14 kilometers southeast of Ramla.-Etymology:...

    -Jerusalem Highway, free access to the Holy Places, and other matters.

With Syria



The agreement with Syria was signed on July 20, 1949. Syria withdrew its forces from most of the territories it controlled west of the international border, which became demilitarized zone
Demilitarized zone
In military terms, a demilitarized zone is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers , where military activity is not permitted, usually by peace treaty, armistice, or other bilateral or multilateral agreement...

s. It was emphasised that the armistice line was "not to be interpreted as having any relation whatsoever to ultimate territorial arrangements." (Article V)

Iraq


Iraq, whose forces took an active part in the war (although it has no common border with Israel), withdrew its forces from the region in March 1949. The front occupied by Iraqi forces was covered by the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan and there was no separate agreement with Iraq.

Cease-fire line vs. permanent border


The new frontiers of Israel, as set by the agreements, encompassed about 78% of mandatory Palestine as it stood after the independence of Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 (now Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

) in 1946. The areas of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 not occupied by Israel (the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 and West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

) were occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively until 1967. See the related articles Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt
Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt
The administration of the Gaza Strip by Egypt occurred between 1948 and October 1956, and again from March 1957 to June 1967. Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip but left it under Egyptian military rule as a temporary arrangement pending the resolution of the Palestine Question.-Background:After...

 and Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan.

The armistice agreements were intended to serve only as interim agreements until replaced by permanent peace treaties. However, no peace treaties were actually signed until decades later.

The armistice agreements, except for the one with Lebanon, were clear (at Arab insistence) that they were not creating permanent borders. The Egyptian-Israeli agreement stated "The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question."

The Jordanian-Israeli agreement stated: "... no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations" (Art. II.2), "The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto." (Art. VI.9)

As the armistice lines were technically not borders, the Arabs considered that Israel was restricted in its rights to develop the DMZ and exploitation of the water resources. Further that as a state of war still existed with the Arab nations, the Arab League was not hindered in their right to deny Israel the freedom of navigation through the Arab League waters. Also it was argued that the Palestinians had the right of return and that the Israeli use of abandoned property was therefore not legitimate.

In the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 then Foreign Minister and future Prime Minister Moshe Sharett
Moshe Sharett
Moshe Sharett on 15 October 1894, died 7 July 1965) was the second Prime Minister of Israel , serving for a little under two years between David Ben-Gurion's two terms.-Early life:...

 called the armistice lines "provisional boundaries" and the old international borders which the armistice lines, except with Jordan, were based on, "natural boundaries". Israel did not lay claim to territory beyond them and proposed them, with minor modifications except at Gaza, as the basis of permanent political frontiers at the Lausanne Conference, 1949
Lausanne Conference, 1949
The Lausanne Conference, 1949 was convened by the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine from 27 April to 12 September 1949 in Lausanne, Switzerland...

.

After the 1967 Six Day War several Israeli leaders argued against turning the armistice lines into permanent borders on the grounds of Israeli security:
  • Prime Minister Golda Meir
    Golda Meir
    Golda Meir ; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel....

     said the pre-1967 borders were so dangerous that it "would be treasonable" for an Israeli leader to accept them (New York Times, December 23, 1969).
  • The Foreign Minister Abba Eban
    Abba Eban
    Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician.In his career he was Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, Education Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations...

     said the pre-1967 borders have "a memory of Auschwitz" (Der Spiegel
    Der Spiegel
    Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind, with a weekly circulation of more than one million.-Overview:...

    , November 5, 1969).
  • Prime Minister Menachem Begin
    Menachem Begin
    ' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

     described a proposal for a retreat to the pre-1967 borders as "national suicide for Israel."


The internationally recognized border between Egypt and Israel was eventually demarcated as part of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
The 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on the 26th of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.The peace...

. The border between Israel and Jordan (except for Jordan's border with the post-1967 West Bank) was demarcated as part of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

.

Violations


In each case Mixed Armistice Commissions
Mixed Armistice Commissions
The Mixed Armistice Commissions is an organisation for monitoring the ceasefire along the lines set by the General Armistice Agreements. It was composed of United Nations Military Observers and was part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization peacekeeping force in the Middle East...

 (MACs) were formed under the auspices of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization is an organization founded on 29 May 1948 for peacekeeping in the Middle East. Its primary task was providing the military command structure to the peace keeping forces in the Middle East to enable the peace keepers to observe and maintain the...

, (UNTSO) which investigated complaints by all parties and made regular reports to the UN Security Council.

As part of its dispute with Syria over use of the Demilitarized Zone created by the Israel-Syria Armistice Agreement, Israel from 1951 refused to attend meetings of the Israel/Syria Mixed Armistice Commission
Israel/Syria Mixed Armistice Commission
The Israel–Syria Mixed Armistice Commission was the United Nations commission for observing the armistice between Israel and Syria after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as part of the Mixed Armistice Commissions...

. The U.N. Security Council, in its resolution of 18 May 1951, criticized Israel's refusal to participate in Mixed Armistice Commission meetings as being "inconsistent with the objectives and intent of the Armistice Agreement".

The discussion of complaints by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission was the United Nations organisation of observers which dealt with complaints from Jordan and Israel to maintain the fragile cease fire along the demarcation line between Israel and Jordan...

 during the year 1952 resulted in:
  • 1. Jordan being condemned for 19 violations of the General Armistice Agreement;
  • 2. Israel being condemned for 12 violations of the General Armistice Agreement;


Statistics Taken from The Official Records of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission Period from 1 January 1953 Through 15 October 1953:
  • The discussion of the 171 Israeli complaints by the Mixed Armistice Commission resulted in Jordan being condemned for 20 violations of the General Armistice Agreement.
  • The discussion of the 161 Jordanian complaints by the Mixed Armistice Commission resulted in Israel being condemned for 21 violations of the General Armistice Agreement.


On 28–29 January 1953 Israeli military forces estimated at 120 to 150 men, using 2 inches (50.8 mm) mortars, 3-inch mortars, PIAT
PIAT
The Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank was a British hand-held anti-tank weapon developed during the Second World War. The PIAT was designed in 1942 in response to the British Army's need for a more effective infantry anti-tank weapon, and entered service in 1943.The PIAT was based on the spigot...

 weapons, bangalore torpedoes, machine-guns, grenades and small arms, crossed the demarcation line and attacked the Arab villages of Falameh and Rantis. At Falameh the mukhtar was killed, seven other villagers were wounded, and three houses were demolished. The attack lasted four and a half hours. Israel was condemned for this act by the Mixed Armistice Commission.

22 April 1953, firing broke out at sunset within Jerusalem along the demarcation line on a length of about 4 kilometres. It lasted two hours, until the cease-fire arranged by United Nations observers came into effect. On the following day, there were isolated shots in the early morning and in the afternoon. There were twenty Jordanian casualties-ten killed and ten wounded. Six Israelis were wounded. The Jerusalem incident was investigated by United Nations observers. After studying the evidence collected, General Riley, in a report to the Security Council on the violation of the cease-fire [S/3607], stated that it appeared impossible to determine who fired the first shot.

On 25, 26 and 27 May, the two parties submitted complaints alleging violation of the General Armistice Agreement by civilians and military personnel in the Al-Dawayima
Al-Dawayima
Al-Dawayima was a Palestinian town, located northwest of the city of Hebron. It is identified with the Old Testament town of Bosqat. According to a 1945 census, the town's population was 3,710, and the village lands comprised a total land area of 60,585 dunums of which nearly half was cultivable...

 area. In an emergency meeting of the Mixed Armistice Commission, both parties agreed to a mixed investigation. United Nations observers accompanied the representatives to the demarcation line to establish the facts. Despite the cease-fire which had been previously arranged, heavy firing broke out during the investigation. Israel troops had fired across the demarcation line at Jordanians in Jordan territory in response to illegal border trespassing by Jordanian farmers and Israeli soldiers were suspected to have burned crops in Jordan territory. The origin of the incident was the illegal cultivation by Jordanians of land in Israel territory. Armed Jordanians had penetrated Israel territory to harvest crops, and other Jordanians had fired across the demarcation line to protect the harvesters. The Jordanian government took no action to encourage or prevent the actions taken, though later considerations were made.

During the latter part of May 1953, incidents took place which cost the lives of three persons and in which six others were wounded. There seemed to be no motive for these crimes other than killing for the sake of killing. On the night of 25–26 May, an armed group from Jordan attacked two homes in Beit Arif, wounding two women. The same night, armed Jordanians attacked a home in Beit Nabala, killing a woman and wounding her husband and two children. Jordan was condemned for all three of these attacks. On the night of 9 June, armed Jordanians blew up a house in Tirat Yehuda, killing one man, And two nights later an armed band struck at a house in Kfar Hess, killing a woman and seriously wounding her husband. Jordan was again condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission for these attacks. Both governments were greatly concerned over the happenings during this fortnight, and a great effort was made to stop the work of these groups, which seemed bent on creating tension along the border.

11 August 1953, Israel military forces using demolition mines, bangalore torpedoes, 2-inch mortars, machine-guns and small arms attacked the villages of Idna, Surif and Wadi Fukin, inflicting casualties among the inhabitants and destroying dwellings. The body of an Israel soldier in full uniform with identification tag was found in the village of Idna after the attack. The Mixed Armistice Commission condemned Israel for these attacks.

2 September 1953: Arabs, infiltrated from Jordan, reached the neighbourhood of Katamon, in the heart of Jerusalem where they threw hand grenades in all directions. Miraculously, no one was hurt.

3 September 1953: Sovereignty over the DMZ (Demarcation Zone) between Syria Israel is questioned when Israel start a creeping border attempt by using a water diversion in DMZ; USA threatens to end aid channelled to Israel by the Foreign Operations Administration. Israel moves intake out of DMZ.

In September 1953 the General Headquarters orders Unit 101 to drive Bedouins out from the Negev and push them southward to Sinai. Unit 101 soldiers act aggressively: they raid the Bedouin camp, shooting aimlessly, confiscating arms and burning tents. The Bedouins run away, leaving many wounded behind. For a few days Unit 101 pursuits the Bedouins until they are out of the Negev.

2 October 1953: The explosion of a land mine on the Israel railway north of Eyal derailed an Israel freight train. The Mixed Armistice Commission has held Jordan responsible for this act of violence which fortunately caused no loss of life and relatively little damage, as the train was made up of empty tank cars.

14 October 1953: Qibya massacre
Qibya massacre
The Qibya massacre, also known as the Qibya incident, occurred in October 1953 when Israeli troops under Ariel Sharon attacked the village of Qibya in the West Bank. Sixty-nine Palestinian Arabs, two thirds of them women and children were killed. Forty-five houses, a school, and a mosque were...

 – 130 Israeli troops crossed the demarcation line into Qibya village, attacking the inhabitants by firing from automatic weapons and explosives. Forty-one dwelling houses and a school building were destroyed. Resulting in the murder of forty-two lives and the wounding of fifteen persons and the damage of a police car, and at the same time, the crossing of a part of the same group into Shuqba village, breaching article III, paragraph 2 of the General Armistice Agreement. A number of unexploded hand grenades, marked with Hebrew letters and three bags of TNT were found in and about the village.

24 November 1953: Resolution 101 the Security Council is passed which "took note of the fact that there is substantial evidence of crossing of the demarcation line by unauthorized persons, ten resulting in acts of violence and requests the Government of Jordan to continue and strengthen the measures which they are already taking to prevent such crossing." The Security Council condemned Israel for the operation in Qibya.

December 1953: The Jordanian authorities carried out the following measures:-
  • (a) Increase of the number of Jordanian police assigned to the border area;

  • (b) Increase of the number of patrols of the Jordanian border by Jordanian forces;

  • (c) Replacement of village mukhtars and area commanders, where laxity of border control was suspected;

  • (d) Removal from the border area of suspected infiltrators and imposing of heavy sentences on known infiltrators;


16 December 1953, two Israeli soldiers were killed while on patrol inside Israel territory (approximate M. R. 1433-1097). On 21 December, the Mixed Armistice Commission condemned Jordan for this incident.

18 December 1953, a car was ambushed on the Hebron road (approximate M.R. 1658-1221) inside Jordan and an Arab Legion medical officer was killed. Israel was condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission for this incident (21 December).

21 December 1953, an armed group attacked a Bedouin camp near Tarqumyia (approximate M.R. 1512-1092) wounding one man. Israel was condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission for this incident (23 December).

21 December, an armed group, using explosives and automatic weapons, attacked a house near Hebron (approximate M.R. 1591-1066) killing one pregnant woman and two men, and wounding another man. Israel was condemned for this incident (24 December).
The last three incidents were apparently reprisal attacks for the killing of the two Israeli soldiers on 16 December. Two Arabs responsible for this crime were arrested by the Jordan police a few days later.

14 February 1954, an Israeli villager on guard duty at Mahasyia, near Deiraban, (approximate M. R. 1510-1282) in the central area, was killed. No evidence was introduced to indicate that Jordanians were guilty of this crime and on 18 February the Chairman voted against the Israeli draft resolution condemning Jordan.

17 February 1954: the Israel delegation complained that five armed persons dressed in khaki crossed the demarcation line during the night and, on the morning of 16 February, stole a flock of 260 sheep belonging to an Israeli kibbutz. According to the complaint, the Israeli shepherd and his flock were taken into caves and kept there till 5.30 p.m. when the shepherd was released and the marauders returned to the Gaza Strip with the flock crossing the demarcation line at M.R. 1067-1024. The Israel delegation considered that "the above was a carefully planned action ordered by the Egyptian authorities and carried out by a well-trained military unit."

17 February 1954: the Israel delegation complained that two Arabs crossed the demarcation line into Israel at M.R. 1018-0992, on 16 February. According to the complaint, they started to escape when challenged by Israeli guards, and fire having been opened on them, one was hit and was dragged over the demarcation line by the second.

18 February, the Mixed Armistice Commission condemned Israel and Jordan for firing across the demarcation line on 14 February near Deir el Ghusun (approximate M. R. 1575-1955) in the northern area. This firing resulted in the killing, of one Jordanian.

18 February: the Israel delegation complained that on 18 February at 1 p.m. two armed Egyptian soldiers crossed the demarcation line at M.R. 10884-10486. According to the complaint, the Egyptian soldiers refused to stop, when challenged by an Israeli patrol; two warning shots were fired; one of the Egyptian soldieries escaped, and the other was killed 15 meters inside Israel territory

18 February: the Israel delegation complained that on 18 February four armed infiltrators crossed the demarcation line into Israel and that when challenged by an Israel patrol at M.R. 1023-1123 they started to escape while firing on the patrol. During the exchange of fire one of the infiltrators was killed.

19 February: the Egyptian delegation complained that on 18 February, at M.R. 1087-1050, a patrol of two Egyptian soldiers in Egyptian territory was attacked by armed Israelis hiding in ambush. One of the Egyptian soldiers was kidnapped and killed inside Israel-controlled territory, close to the demarcation line (Cf. sub-paragraph (c) above summarizing an Israeli complaint dated 18 February).

19 February: the Egyptian delegation complained that on 19 February armed Israelis opened automatic fire across the demarcation line at an Arab working in his field at M.R. 0952-0931. The Arab was seriously injured.

24 February One Arab was reported killed and another wounded by the Egyptian delegation.

16 March 1954, Israelis of the Ein Gev colony began ploughing 130 dunums of land situated near the colony and belonging to the Arab population of demilitarised Nuqeib, in violation of the verbal agreement concluded at Samara in 1950 to the effect that the two parties should retain and work the said land until the problem was settled.

17 March 1954: Ma'ale Akrabim [Scorpion Pass].Terrorists ambushed a bus traveling from Eilat to Tel Aviv, and opened fire at short range when the bus reached the area of Maale Akrabim in the northern Negev. In the initial ambush, the terrorists killed the driver and wounded most of the passengers. The terrorists then boarded the bus, and shot each passenger, one by one. Eleven passengers were murdered. Survivors recounted how the murderers spat on the bodies and abused them. The Israeli claimed that the terrorists could clearly be traced back to the Jordanian border, some 20 km from the site of the terrorist attack. The MAC investigation found that the claim could not be substantiated and that the attack was more likely to have been by Bedu tribesman from within Israel and the Israeli complaint was not upheld.

23 March 1954: The Israel Government has severed all connections with the Mixed Armistice Commission. It has also discontinued attendance at the local commanders' meetings provided for under a separate Israel-Jordan agreement. Israel communications referring to alleged violations by Jordan of the General Armistice Agreement have been addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with the request that they should be circulated to the members of the Security Council. The Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization in Jerusalem has been informed of such alleged violations of the General Armistice Agreement only on receiving from New York a copy of the Security Council document. The non-co-operation of the Israel Government has prevented the investigation of such alleged violations in conformity with the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement.

On 29 March 1954, at 07.00 hours, local time, the Jordanian delegation presented to the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission a verbal complaint dealing with an incident which had occurred on 29 March 1954 at 07.00 hours, local time, at Nahhalin village, some 35 kilometers from the demarcation line "an Israel armed force, well equipped, surrounded the village from three directions and penetrated inside the village and opened fire from different automatic weapons, threw hand-grenades and placed mines at some houses, including the mosque of the village. As a result of this brutal attack, 9 persons—8 men and 1 woman—were killed, and 14 others were injured and taken to hospital. Fire lasted for about one hour and a half, and was returned by the village guards. Then the aggressors withdrew. Mines, grenades and other warlike materials bearing Hebrew markings were found on the spot. This complaint was upheld by the Mixed Armistice Commission
Mixed Armistice Commissions
The Mixed Armistice Commissions is an organisation for monitoring the ceasefire along the lines set by the General Armistice Agreements. It was composed of United Nations Military Observers and was part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization peacekeeping force in the Middle East...



30 June 1954, two Israeli armoured launchers attacked the Syrian post of El Koursi, situated on Syrian soil, with their 20-mm. and 57-mm. guns, this time with the support of Israel field artillery sited in the defensive area. This artillery continued firing for approximately one hour and 45 minutes, causing material damage to the post.

5 December 1954, at approximately 16.30 hours, a group of 8 armed Israel State policemen stationed approximately at MR 209600 233400 opened fire on two Arab farmers at approximately MR 209600 233450 in the southern demilitarised zone (Tawafiq). The fire was returned by the two Arabs. One of them was hit by a bullet and immediately taken to hospital. The MAC Decided that the presence of a regular Israel police force in the southern demilitarised zone is a flagrant violation of article V of the General Armistice Agreement and requested that the Israel authorities to pay to the wounded Arab civilian an appropriate compensation

A list of 29 complaints of allegedof 27 October 1953 Report the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization. See appendix I, II and II for a tabulated list of Israel and Jordanian complaints to the MAC the number of condemnations given to each country as a result of MAC investigations infractions of the agreement by Jordan was submitted on April 6, 1954. These alleged infractions included alleged Jordanian attacks on an Israeli civilian bus, killing 11 people (see 17 March above), attacks on Israeli farmers and Bedouin shepherds, sniping at Israeli civilians from the Old City of Jerusalem, kidnappings, shooting at civilian aircraft, ambushing roads and laying mines. In violation of the agreements, the Jordanians denied Jewish access to the holy places in Jerusalem, prohibited visits to Rachel's Tomb
Rachel's Tomb
Rachel's Tomb , also known as the Dome of Rachel, , is an ancient structure believed to be the burial place of the biblical matriarch Rachel. It is located on the outskirts of Bethlehem, a Palestinian city just south of Jerusalem, in the West Bank...

 and vandalized the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. The highest, at-Tur, rises to 818 meters . It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes...

, using tombstones for construction of pavements and latrines. The 'Uja al-Hafeer demilitarized zone on the Israeli-Egyptian border was the site of numerous border incidents and armistice violations. In September 1955, Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

's paratroopers entered the United Nation sector of the demilitarized zone. Benny Morris writes that Sharon "didn't realize that the UN area was off limits for his men."
On May 28, 1958, Israel reported a shooting incident in the demilitarized zone on Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus , جبل المشهد , جبل الصوانة) is a mountain in northeast Jerusalem. In the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Mount Scopus became a UN protected Jewish exclave within Jordanian-occupied territory until the Six-Day War in 1967...

 in which 4 Israel police officers patrolling the botanical gardens of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

, along with the United Nations observer sent to extricate them, were killed by Jordanian fire from Issawiya
Al-Issawiya
Al-Issawiya is an Arab village and neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel. Located on Mount Scopus near Hadassah Hospital, it formed part of an Israeli enclave between 1949-1967.-History:In 1964, Issawiya had a population of 1,300...

. Israel sent soldiers into Jordanian territory to conduct raids in retaliation for incursions by armed persons into Israel. From their positions on the Golan Heights Syrian forces shelled Israeli settlements in the demilitarized zone, attacked fishing boats on the Kinneret
Kinneret
Kinneret or Kineret may refer to:* Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest freshwater lake** Kinneret, Israel, village southwest of the lake** Kvutzat Kinneret, kibbutz southwest of the lake** Kinneret College, college south of the lake...

  and fired on agricultural workers.

See also

  • 1947 UN Partition Plan
    1947 UN Partition Plan
    The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was created by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in 1947 to replace the British Mandate for Palestine with "Independent Arab and Jewish States" and a "Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem" administered by the United...

  • 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
    1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
    The 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine lasted from 30 November 1947, the date of the United Nations vote in favour of the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the UN Partition Plan, to the termination of the British Mandate itself on 14 May 1948.This period constitutes the...

  • 1948 Arab-Israeli War
    1948 Arab-Israeli War
    The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

  • Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Blue Line
    Blue Line (Lebanon)
    The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

  • Peace Process in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
    Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

  • Palestinian Conciliation Commission
    Palestinian Conciliation Commission
    The Palestinian Conciliation Commission was an organization established by the British following Israel's 1948 War of Independence "in order to help work out a peaceful settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict"...


Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties

  • Faisal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)
    Faisal-Weizmann Agreement
    The Faisal–Weizmann Agreement was signed on January 3, 1919, by Emir Feisal , who was for a short time King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq from August 1921 to 1933, and Chaim Weizmann as part of the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 settling...

  • Paris Peace Conference, 1919
    Paris Peace Conference, 1919
    The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

  • Camp David Accords (1978)
  • Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
    Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
    The 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on the 26th of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.The peace...

  • Madrid Conference of 1991
    Madrid Conference of 1991
    The Madrid Conference was hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR. It convened on October 30, 1991 and lasted for three days. It was an early attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians...

  • Oslo Accords (1993)
    Oslo Accords
    The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

  • Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
    Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
    The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

  • Camp David 2000 Summit
    Camp David 2000 Summit
    The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat...

  • Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

  • Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Arabs and Israelis have been operating for years in different fields.- Policy groups:Organizations or institutions which address and analyze policy issues in a wide range of areas...

  • List of Middle East peace proposals
  • International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
    International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
    There is a broad international consensus that the actions of the nations involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict violate prohibitions contained in international law. However, this legality is disputed by some of the nations involved...


Texts


The complete texts of the Armistice Agreements can be found at The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

A search at the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

web site for "Mixed Armistice Commission" will reveal many of the reports made to the UN by those commissions.

External links