Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

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The 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 on the 26th of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli 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,...

, and were witnessed by United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

.

The peace treaty was signed sixteen months after Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat's visit to Israel in 1977 after intense negotiation.

The main features of the treaty were the mutual recognition of each state by the other, the cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and the complete withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 which Israel had captured during the 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...

 in 1967. Egypt agreed to leave the area demilitarized. The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 and recognition of the Strait of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
The Straits of Tiran , are the narrow sea passages, about wide, between the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas which separate the Gulf of Aqaba from the Red Sea...

, the Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
The Gulf of Aqaba is a large gulf located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. In pre twentieth-century and modern sources it is often named the Gulf of Eilat, as Eilat is its predominant Israeli city ....

 and the Taba
Taba
- Places :Egypt:* Taba, Egypt, a town in Egypt near the Gulf of Aqaba.** Taba Border Crossing, a border crossing between Taba in Egypt and Eilat in Israel...

Rafah
Rafah
Rafah , also known as Rafiah, is a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip. Located south of Gaza, Rafah's population of 71,003 is overwhelmingly made up of Palestinian refugees. Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan form separate localities. Rafah is the district capital of the Rafah Governorate...

 straits as international waterways.

The agreement notably made Egypt the first Arab state to officially recognize Israel.

As part of the agreement, the US began economic and military aid to Egypt, and political backing for its subsequent governments. From the Camp David peace accords in 1978 until 2000, the United States has subsidized Egypt's armed forces with over $38 billion worth of aid. Egypt receives about $1.3 billion annually.

Compliance


According to The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East:
"The normalization of relations [between Israel and Egypt] went into effect in January 1980. Ambassadors were exchanged in February. The boycott laws were repealed by Egypt's National Assembly the same month, and some trade began to develop, albeit less than Israel had hoped for. In March 1980 regular airline flights were inaugurated. Egypt also began supplying Israel with crude oil".

Demilitarization of Sinai


On 18 May 1981, the President of the UN Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 indicated that the United Nations would be unable to provide an observation force, due to the threat of a veto of the motion by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. As a result of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 impasse, Egypt, Israel and the United States opened negotiations to set up a peacekeeping organization outside the framework of the UN. On 3 August 1981, the Protocol to the Treaty of Peace was signed, establishing the Multinational Force and Observers
Multinational Force and Observers
The Multinational Force and Observers is an international peacekeeping force overseeing the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.-Background:...

. This observation force monitors both parties to ensure compliance with the treaty.

In January 2011, during widespread protests by Egyptians against their government, Israel agreed to allow Egypt to move several hundred troops into the Sinai Peninsula for the first time since the peace treaty was signed. With Israel's agreement, Egypt moved two battalions, about 800 soldiers, into the Sharm el-Sheikh area on Sinai's southern tip, far from Israel.

International reaction


This treaty was received with controversy. Other Arab states, especially the Palestinians, condemned it and considered it as a stab in the back. PLO
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 Leader Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 said "Let them sign what they like. False peace will not last." On the other hand, the treaty led both Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli 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,...

 to share the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 for bringing peace between the two nations. However, Anwar Sadat became unpopular in the Arab circle as well as within his own country. Egypt was suspended from the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 as a result of the treaty from 1979-1989. His unpopularity grew, leading to his assassination on 6 October 1981 by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

Aftermath



The peace between Egypt and Israel has lasted for thirty years, and Egypt has become an important strategic partner of Israel. Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former defence minister known for his close ties to Egyptian officials has stated that "Egypt is not only our closest friend in the region, the co-operation between us goes beyond the strategic."

As part of the agreement, the US began economic and military aid to Egypt, and political backing for its subsequent governments. From the Camp David peace accords in 1978 until 2000, the United States has subsidized Egypt's armed forces with over $38 billion worth of aid. Egypt receives about $1.3 billion annually..

Nevertheless, the peace is often described as a "cold Peace", with many in Egypt skeptical about its effectiveness. The Arab-Israeli conflict has kept relations cool, and anti-Jewish sentiment is prevalent in the Egyptian media. US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks suggest that the Egyptian military continues to see Israel as its primary adversary. In 2008, The Egyptian army conducted simulated military exercises against an "enemy" Israel.

The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 led to fears in Israel about the future of the treaty, although the Israeli Prime Minister stated that he expected any new Egyptian government to keep the peace treaty with Israel, as it has served both countries well. After the Egyptian Army took power on 11 February 2011, it announced that Egypt would continue to abide by all its international and regional treaties. However, Ayman Nour, An influential Egyptian opposition figure and likely presidential candidate called for Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel to be "reassessed". Israel's embassy was attacked on 10 September 2011 and its staff had to be evacuated, signalling a further decline in peaceful relations. On 15 September the Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said that 'A peace deal with Israel was not sacred'

See also

  • Egypt-Israel relations
  • Camp David Accords (1978)
    Camp David Accords
    The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

  • Palestinian autonomy talks
    Palestinian autonomy talks
    The Palestinian autonomy talks were an outgrowth of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty and were designed to lead to a resolution of the Palestinian question in the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

  • 1949 Armistice Agreements
    1949 Armistice Agreements
    The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

  • 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)
  • Yamit
    Yamit
    Yamit was an Israeli settlement in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula with a population of about 2,500 people .The settlement was established during Israel's occupation of the peninsula from the end of the 1967 Six-Day War, until that part of the Sinai was handed over to Egypt in 1982 as...

  • List of Middle East peace proposals

External links

  • Text of the Treaty, at the site of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Text of the Treaty, at the site of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Crisis hurts Israeli-Egypt ties Sally Buzbee, Associated Press
    Associated Press
    The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

    January 23, 2008