Sinai Liberation: the land freeing that was carried out over a decade by war and peace



Mon, 25 Apr 2022 - 03:37 GMT


Mon, 25 Apr 2022 - 03:37 GMT

Sunrise on Moses Mountain in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt - CC via Wikimedia Commons/Ibrahim El-Mezayen

Sunrise on Moses Mountain in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt - CC via Wikimedia Commons/Ibrahim El-Mezayen

CAIRO - 25 April 2022: Because of October 6, 1973 War, Egypt recovered 15 kilometers of Sinai which had been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967. After the war, which had taken place over 20 days, came to a halt by a ceasefire, Egypt was left with a long way ahead to free such precious territory.


The U.S.-brokered peace talks resulted first in the Camp David Accords signed by Egypt and Israel on September 17, 1978. The document covered a process for Palestinian self-government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a framework for the conclusion of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, and a similar framework for peace treaties between Israel and its other neighbours.


It is noted that such a pivotal event followed Late President Anwar al-Sadat's visit to Tel Aviv, where he delivered a speech in 1977 before the Knesset to advocate for peace.


The framework of Camp David Accords had to be based upon the United Nations Security Council Resolution no. 242 which calls for the withdrawal of Israel Armed Forces from the territories occupied in 1967. Those territories are Sinai, Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Syria's Golan Heights. After the conclusion of the peace treaty by 3-9 months, Israel had to assume interim withdrawal.


The same was mandated by the Peace Treaty signed on March 26, 1979, so as Article I provided that Israel would withdraw "all its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai behind the international boundary between Egypt and mandated Palestine," and that Egypt would "resume the exercise of its full sovereignty over the Sinai.” The withdrawal of Israel from Sinai was set to be accomplished over two phases.


However, that was not all. Article IV stipulated that the parties have to accept the stationing of the United Nations personnel in Sinai on borders with Israel.


The article further asserted that "the parties agree not to request withdrawal of the United Nations personnel and these personnel will not be removed unless such removal is approved by the Security Council of the United Nations with the affirmative vote of the five Permanent Members, unless the parties otherwise agree.”


However, in 1981, both parties came up with a protocol to establish the MFO “as an alternative” to a UN force. That is because the UN Security Council refused to station a UN peacekeeping force in the Sinai.


The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is an independent international organization that is headquartered in Rome. The nationalities composing the MFO were selected by Egypt and Israel to assume peacekeeping activities. The funding of the MFO is equally paid by both states in addition to the contributions from other countries.


Nevertheless, the war and the treaty were not enough to liberate all of Sinai, as Egypt had to restore Taba, lying in South Sinai on the borders with Israel, through international arbitration in 1989.  



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