Israel and Egypt Make Peace

The Egyptian press is virulently anti-Semitic, and the Egyptian government does little to stop illegal arms-smuggling to the Palestinians. Nevertheless, the March 26, 1979, peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has created a modicum of stability along Israel’s southern border.

Israeli Compliance

Israel established peace with Egypt, withdrew from all of the Sinai Peninsula by 1982 (within the three-year requirement), and has sought to establish and maintain “normal and friendly relations” (Article 1, para. 3).

Egyptian Compliance

Although it is called a “cold peace,” Egypt established peace with Israel. Egypt also resumed sovereignty over the Sinai Peninsula.

Article 3, paragraph 2 states that each party is to ensure that acts or threats of hostility or violence against the other party do not originate within its territory. Israel has repeatedly urged Egypt to do more to stop the frequent, illegal arms-smuggling to the Palestinian Authority (PA) through underground tunnels along the Egyptian-Gaza border. In January 2002, Israel intercepted the Karine-A ship and confiscated its cargo of 50 tons of illegal armaments bound for the PA. The captain confessed the ship intended to unload its cargo onto smaller boats at a port in Egypt, for smuggling into Gaza.

In October 1999 Egyptian Defense Minister Muhammad Tantawi sent a message to his general staff: “We must be prepared for war with Israel.” Since becoming Egypt’s president in 1981, Hosni Mubarak has never officially visited Israel. He attended Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral, but did not consider the visit official.

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