Monday, 24 September 2012

1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Accord and Present Unrest in Sinai

1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Accord
The peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed in 1979 after months of intense negotiation. The main features of the treaty were:
  1. mutual recognition, 
  2. cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab–Israeli Warnormalization of relations and 
  3. the complete withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai Peninsula which Israel had captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. 
  4. Egypt agreed to leave the area (Sinai peninsula) demilitarized. 
  5. The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal, and recognition of the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba 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 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.1

Present Unrest in Sinai Peninsula (from 2011 onwards)
Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, tensions in Sinai region have increased. Armed militants have targeted both Israeli and Egyptian forces leading to casualties on both sides and increased tensions. Following the 1979 accord, military maneuvers in the Sinai peninsula have been coordinated. Although this was done, concerns in Israel increased over the deployment of tanks by Egypt to find the militants. 
There have also been calls in Egypt to revisit the 1979 peace accord, however Israel rejected any revision (as of September 2012). Apprehensions between the two countries have risen also because President Mohammad Morsy has been cooler Israel than his predecessors. The fate of the Accord is also being questioned.2

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