Last updated on: 6/26/2008 12:39:00 PM PST

What Was the 1979 Egyptian - Israeli Peace Treaty?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Avi Shlaim, PhD, Professor of International Relations at St. Antony's College, Oxford, in his 2001 book The Iron Wall, wrote:

"The peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was a detailed implementation of the principles agreed upon at Camp David [1978]. The preamble stated that the treaty was an important step in the search for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East and in the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict in all its aspects.

Article 1 required Israel to withdraw its armed forces and civilians from Sinai to the international border to allow Egypt to resume the exercise of its full sovereignty over the peninsula. Full diplomatic relations were to be established upon completion of the first stage of the Israeli withdrawal. Subsequent articles dealt with security arrangements in Sinai, the stationing of U.N. forces, freedom of navigation, and the various aspects of normalization. The treaty was accompanied by a memorandum of understanding guaranteeing Israel's oil supplies for the next fifteen years, assuring Israel of American support in the event of violations, and a continuing commitment to be 'responsive' to Israel's military and economic requirements.

Finally, a joint letter from Sadat and Begin to Carter committed them to start negotiations on autonomy for the West Bank and Gaza within a month of the peace treaty's ratification. This was intended to conceal the fact that Sadat agreed to a separate peace with Israel. In the final analysis Begin got what he wanted: a peace agreement with Egypt that stood on its own."

2001 - Avi Shlaim, PhD 

The 1979 Egyptian - Israeli Peace Treaty, signed on Mar. 26, 1979, began with the following Preamble:

"March 26, 1979

The Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Government of the State of Israel;


Convinced of the urgent necessity of the establishment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338;

Reaffirming their adherence to the 'Framework for Peace in the Middle East Agreed at Camp David,' dated September 17, 1978;

Noting that the aforementioned Framework as appropriate is intended to constitute a basis for peace not only between Egypt and Israel but also between Israel and each of its other Arab neighbors which is prepared to negotiate peace with it on this basis;

Desiring to bring to an end the state of war between them and to establish a peace in which every state in the area can live in security;

Convinced that the conclusion of a Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel is an important step in the search for comprehensive peace in the area and for the attainment of settlement of the Arab- Israeli conflict in all its aspects;

Inviting the other Arab parties to this dispute to join the peace process with Israel guided by and based on the principles of the aforementioned Framework;

Desiring as well to develop friendly relations and cooperation between themselves in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law governing international relations in times of peace;

Agree to the following provisions in the free exercise of their sovereignty, in order to implement the 'Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty Between Egypt and Israel;'"

Mar. 26, 1979 - The 1979 Egyptian - Israeli Peace Treaty

Mark Tessler, PhD, Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, in his 1994 book A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, wrote:

"...Israel had made the most important concessions so far as Sinai was concerned, enabling Sadat and the Egyptians to recover the peninsula in exchange for peace, Begin had bargained effectively and obtained an agreement concerning the West Bank and Gaza that left the future of these territories undecided. There was no mention of East Jerusalem whatsoever; and, though they agreed on the procedures that would govern negotiations about the final status of the territories, the Israelis made no firm commitment about an eventual withdrawal either from the rest of the West Bank or from Gaza...

It was agreed that negotiations about the final status of the West Bank and Gaza would be based on the provisions and principles of UN Security Council Resolution 242, and also that the solution resulting from these talks must recognized the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their just requirements."

1994 - Mark Tessler, PhD