1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements
are a set of agreements signed during 1949
and its neighbors Egypt
The agreements ended the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
, and outlined Israel's de-facto
borders (known as the Green Line
) until the 1967 Six-Day War
The agreement with Egypt was signed on February 24. The main points were:
- The armistice line was drawn along the international border (dating back to 1906) for the most part, except near the Mediterranean Sea, where Egypt remanied in control of a strip of land along the coast, which became to be known as the Gaza Strip.
- The Egyptian forces besieged in the Faluja Pocket were allowed to return to Egypt with their weapons, and the area was handed over to Israel.
- A zone on both sides of the border around 'Uja al-Hafeer (Nitzana) was to be demilitarized, and became the seat of the bilateral armistice committee.
The agreement with Lebanon
was signed on March 23
. The main points were:
- The armistice line was drawn along the international border.
- Israel withdrew its forces from 13 villages in Lebanese territory, which were occupied during the war.
The agreement with Jordan
was signed on April 3
. The main points:
- Jordanian forces remained in most positions held by them in the West Bank, including the Arab East Jerusalem, and the Old City.
- Jordan withdrew its forces from their front posts overlooking the Plain of Sharon. In return, Israel agreed to allow Jordanian forces to take over positions in the West Bank previously held by Iraqi forces.
- A Special Committee was to be formed to make arrangements for safe movement of traffic, free access to the Holy Places, and other matters.
The agreement with Syria
was signed on July 20
. Syria withdrew its forces from most of the territories it had control of west of the international border. Those areas were then to be demilitarized.
Iraq, whose forces took an active part in the war (although it has no common border with Israel), withdrew its forces from the region in March 1949. The front occupied by Iraqi forces was covered by the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan and there was no separate agreement with Iraq.
The agreements left about 70% of mandatory Palestine in Israeli hands. The rest of the area (the Gaza Strip and West Bank) remained in Egyptian and Jordanian hands respectively.
The armistice agreements were intended to serve only as interim agreements, until they would be replaced by permanent peace treaties. However, no peace trieates were actually signed until decades later.
In each case a Mixed Armistice Commission was formed, which investigated complaints by either party and made regular reports to the UN Security Council.
In the years following the signing of the agreements, all of the parties were condemned many times for violations. Egypt kept large military forces in the demilitarized 'Uja al-Hafeer area. Israel, on its side, reinforced the Mt. Scopus enclave (which was supposed to be demilitarized) with armed soldiers, disguised as policemen. Israel also sent soldiers into Jordanian territory on many occasions to conduct raids in retaliation for incursions by armed persons into Israel. Syrian forces launced numerous artillery attacks against Israeli settlements in the demilitarized zone adjacent to the Golan Heights.
The complete texts of the Armistice Agreements can be found at http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf . Search for the following documents:
A search for "Mixed Armistice Commission" will reveal many of the reports made to the UN by those commissions.
- Egypt: S/1264/Corr.1
- Jordan: S/1302/Rev.1
- Lebanon: S/1296
- Syria: S/1353, S/1353/Add.1, S/1353/Add.1/Corr.1, S/1353/Add.2