Israel-Egypt Peace Agreement of 1979

What was the Israel-Egypt Peace Agreement of 1979?

Following the Camp David Accords in 1978, Israel and Egypt came together to negotiate peace between the two nations and signed a treaty on March 26, 1979. This treaty, which was signed in Washington DC, was the first of its kind between any of the Arab countries and Israel.


For playing their role in these historic agreements, President of Egypt Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin received Nobel Peace Prize in 1978. However, Sadat’s initiative was not much popular with other Arab countries and within some sects of Egypt. Some Arab nations and especially Palestinian Arabs failed to see the foresight that Sadat had in extending his hand for peace and called his act a stab in the back. Sadat was isolated by the other Arab nations and became unpopular among his people which finally led to his unfortunate assassination in 1981.

The Israel-Egypt peace treaty contains nine articles, along with a military annex and an annex laying down how the two parties will deal between each other. Moreover, the treaty contained minutes construing its main articles. On the same day, both the parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement with US, which spelled out the commitments that both parties will be entitled to in case of violation of the agreement, the role that UN will play in the situation and US aid in the form of military and economic help.

The main terms that were laid down in the treaty limit both the parties to abstain from carrying out any hostile activities and to demilitarize Sinai. The result of this treaty was that Israel withdrew its forces from Egypt. Moreover, it gave up settlements, the military bases, the infrastructure that it has taken over and Sinai oil fields as well. This created a permanent border between the two countries and initiated a process of normalization.

Since the time the treaty was signed between Israel and Egypt, the latter has stood true to its commitments and the efforts which were started by Sadat were carried on even after his assassination. Israel-Egypt peace agreement lasted for thirty years with the two countries becoming good strategic partners. Egypt received economic and military aid from US according to their commitment which helped Egypt gained some of its lost position in the international economy. Nevertheless, this peace process was called among the Arab nations and people of Egypt as the “cold peace,” believed to not last long with skeptics regarding its effectiveness.



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§ 4 Responses to Israel-Egypt Peace Agreement of 1979

  • Arab says:

    “In longer retrospect, the terms of the treaty can be seen to have set an unfortunate precedent. Egypt had been an aggressor against Israel four times and had lost four times. Israel was the country that had been attacked four times and had won four times. But under the peace treaty, Israel returned to the aggressor, Egypt, everything the aggressor had lost. This had never been done before in the long history of warfare between nations, and is very bad policy because it makes aggression a “no lose” bet for the aggressor country. The Israel-Egypt agreement set expectations for all the later peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab countries that have repeatedly tried to destroy it, not to mention the Palestinian Arabs, so they are all looking for the same style of “no lose” treaty.”

    The passage above does seem to have a narrow view of what Israel had gained as a result of the treaty. The treaty provided Israel a chance to trade with Egypt, largely for oil, as well as remove the biggest threat to them in that region. It also allowed Israel, by appeasing Egypt, to split the Arab nations even more so than they already were. So all in all the treaty was a massive gain for the Israelis even if they did give back large plots of land that they had ‘won’ as a result of wars.

  • Chavi says:

    @Arab

    In exchange for a landmass that is double the size of Israel today, triple if you exclude the West Bank and Gaza, Israel received a promise of oil. It’s a lot easier to stop trading oil than it is to unwithdraw from land. Note that in 2011 Egypt’s Finance Minister claimed that the 1979 peace treaty does not obligate Egypt to sell gas to Israel.

  • are ade adebambo says:

    Egyptians govt then made the most beautiful mistake then, First and formost why must they aggreed on treat with isreal known full well that in the next decade to come they will be the sole losser. What they should have done is to keep on struggle interms of arms race till they are able to organised and compose themself for serious battle. Now Look at what iran did isreal can never attempt to go to war with iran that is the reality as at today even with the backing of arrogant power US and its allies egypt should have done the same as at today.

  • Moh Ahmed says:

    If the world is looking for peace there is no reason to say this is a loser or winner because in wars there is no winner ,but all are losers. What happened in the peace treaty was in favour and a response to the pressure of the US govt. There is no reason to say israel lost Sinai because Sinai always belongs to Egypt and if Egypt did not take it today , it will tomorrow and if not tomorrow it will be taken back any time and there will be always wars to get the dearest part back.. so there will be always wars . the 2 nations has chosen the right thing to do and we must not talk more about that . If the people in Egypt has some hostilities againist israel thats is because the acts of killing in Gaza and palestine and killing some egyptian soldiers at the borders Can you prevent your brother to be sad for you?

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