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.