Eastern Mediterranean 1979: Israeli withdrawal from Sinai
The destructive Yom Kippur War(1973) convinced Egypt and Israel of the heavy costs of maintaining a state of mutual hostility. Negotiations began soon after the war ended, culminating in the US-facilitated Camp David Accords (1978) and the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty (1979). In accordance with the peace deal, Israel undertook a phased withdrew from the Sinai peninsula in 1979–82.
5–17 Sep 1978 Camp David Accords▲
The high cost of the Yom Kippur War convinced President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel to enter into negotiations. In September 1978 President Jimmy Carter of the United States mediated secret talks between Sadat and Rabin’s successor Menachem Begin at Camp David in the US, resulting in frameworks for “Peace in the Middle East”—whereby Israel granted autonomy to the West Bank and Gaza—and “a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel”—in which Israel agreed to withdraw from the Sinai in return for Egyptian guarantees.
26 Mar 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty▲
In March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin signed the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C., with US president Jimmy Carter as witness. The treaty normalized relations between Egypt and Israel, opening up trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries, and allowed for the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula. However, the treaty—the first peaceful recognition of Israel by an Arab country—was widely condemned in the Arab world, where many saw Sadat as a traitor.
18 Apr 1979–14 Jan 1984 Free Lebanon State▲
When the Israel Defense Forces withdrew from southern Lebanon in June 1978, they handed over control of the border region not to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) but to local Maronite-Christian militias under the command of Major Saad Haddad. Operating increasingly independently of the Lebanese Front, Haddad proclaimed the area under his control the “Free Lebanon State” in April 1979. Supported by Israel but lacking international recognition, the authority of the Free Lebanon State expired with the death of Haddad in 1984 and was succeeded by its military force, the South Lebanon Army.
25 May 1979–25 Apr 1982 Israeli withdrawal from Sinai▲
Following the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty (1979), Israel began a phased withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula, allowing its positions to be taken over by the United Nations Emergency Forces (UNEF) and then, via UNEF, Egypt. In 1981, as the withdrawal was reaching its end, the UN indicated it could no longer provide an observation force, due to the threat of a veto of the motion by the Soviet Union. To resolve this, the US and other nations formed the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), which continues to monitor the Egypt–Israel border to this day.