Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1A - Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement, February 24, 1949

The parties to the present Agreement, responding to the Security Council resolution of 16 November 1948, calling upon them as a further provisional measure under Article 40 of the Charter of the United Nations and in order to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, to negotiate an armistice; having decided to enter into negotiations under United Nations Chairmanship concerning the implementation of the Security Council resolutions of 4 and 16 November 1948; and having appointed representatives empowered to negotiate and conclude an Armistice Agreement;
The undersigned representatives, in the full authority entrusted to them by their respective Governments, have agreed upon the following provisions:

With a view to promoting the return of permanent peace in Palestine and in recognition of the importance in this regard of mutual assurances concerning the future military operations of the Parties, the following principles, which shall be fully observed by both Parties during the Armistice, are hereby affirmed:
1.  The injunction of the Security Council against resort to military force in the settlement of the Palestine question shall henceforth be scrupulously respected by both Parties.
2.  No aggressive action by the armed forces -- land, sea, or air ‑- of either Party shall be undertaken, planned, or threatened against the people or the armed forces of the other; it being clearly understood that the use of the term "planned" in this context has no bearing on normal staff planning as generally practised in military organizations.
3.  The right of each Party to its security and freedom from fear of attack by the armed forces of the other shall be fully respected.
4.  The establishment of an armistice between the armed forces of the two Parties is accepted as an indispensable step toward the liquidation of armed conflict and the restoration of peace in Palestine.

1.  In pursuance of the foregoing principles and of the resolutions of the Security Council of 4 and 16 November 1948, a general armistice between the armed forces of the two Parties -- land, sea and air -- is hereby established.
2.  No element of the land, sea or air military or para-military forces of either Party, including non-regular forces, shall commit any warlike or hostile act against the military or para-military forces of the other Party, or against civilians in territory under the control of that Party; or shall advance beyond or pass over for any purpose whatsoever the Armistice Demarcation Line set forth in Article VI of this Agreement except as provided in Article III of this Agreement; and elsewhere shall not violate the international frontier; or enter into or pass through the air space of the other Party or through the waters within three miles of the coastline of the other Party.

1.  In pursuance of the Security Council's resolution of 4 November 1948, and with a view to implementation of the Security Council's resolution of 16 November 1948, the Egyptian military forces in the Al Faluja area shall be withdrawn.
2.  This withdrawal shall begin on the day after that which follows the signing of this Agreement, at 0500 hours GMT, and shall be beyond the Egypt-Palestine frontier.
3.  The withdrawal shall be under the supervision of the United Nations and in accordance with the Plan of Withdrawal set forth in Annex I to this Agreement [not printed here].

With specific reference to the implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council of 4 and 16 November 1948, the following principles and purposes are affirmed:
1.  The principle that no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce ordered by the Security Council is recognised.
2.  It is also recognised that the basic purposes and spirit of the Armistice would not be served by the restoration of previously held military positions, changes from those now held other than as specifically provided for in this Agreement, or by the advance of the military forces of either side beyond the positions held at the time this Armistice Agreement is signed.
3.  It is further recognised that rights, claims or interests of a non-military character in the area of Palestine covered by this Agreement may be asserted by either Party, and that these, by mutual agreement being excluded from the Armistice negotiations, shall be, at the discretion of the Parties, the subject of later settlement. It is emphasized that it is not the purpose of this Agreement to establish, to recognize, to strengthen, or to weaken or nullify, in any way, any territorial, custodial or other rights, claims or interests which may be asserted by either Party in the area of Palestine or any part or locality thereof covered by this Agreement, whether such asserted rights, claims or interests derive from Security Council resolutions, including the resolution of 4 November 1948 and the Memorandum of 13 November 1948 for its implementation, or from any other source. The provisions of this Agreement are dictated exclusively by military considerations and are valid only for the period of the Armistice.

1.  The line described in Article VI of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Line and is delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolutions of the Security Council of 4 and 16 November 1948.
2.  The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question.
3.  The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Line is to delineate the line beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move except as provided in Article III of this Agreement.
4.  Rules and regulations of the armed forces of the Parties, which prohibit civilians from crossing the fighting lines or entering the area between the lines, shall remain in effect after the signing of this Agreement with application to the Armistice Demarcation Line defined in Article VI.

[defining Armistice Demarcation Lines in the Gaza-Rafah and Bethlehem-Hebron areas -- omitted.]

1.  It is recognized by the parties to this Agreement that in certain sectors of the total area involved, the proximity of the forces of a third party not covered by this Agreement makes impractical the full application of all provisions of the Agreement to such sectors. For this reason alone, therefore, and pending the conclusion of an Armistice Agreement in place of the existing truce with that third party, the provisions of this Agreement relating to reciprocal reduction and withdrawal of forces shall apply only to the western front and not to the eastern front.
2.  The areas comprising the western and eastern fronts shall be defined by the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, on the basis of the deployment of forces against each other and past military activity or the future possibility thereof in the area. The definition of the western and eastern fronts is set forth in Annex II of this Agreement [not printed here].
3.  In the area of the western front under Egyptian control, Egyptian defensive forces only may be maintained. All other Egyptian forces shall be withdrawn from this area to a point or points no further east than El Arish - Abou Aoueigila.
4.  In the area of the western front under Israeli control, Israeli defensive forces only, which shall be based on the settlements, may be maintained. All other Israeli forces shall be withdrawn from this area to a point or points north of the line delineated in paragraph 2.A of the Memorandum of 13 November 1948 on the implementation of the resolution of the Security Council of 4 November 1948.
5.  The defensive forces referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 above shall be as defined in Annex III to this Agreement [not printed here].

1.  The area comprising the village of El Auja and vicinity, as defined in paragraph 2 of this Article, shall be demilitarized, and both Egyptian and Israeli armed forces shall be totally excluded therefrom. The Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission established in Article X of this Agreement and United Nations Observers attached to the Commission shall be responsible for ensuring the full implementation of this provision.
2. [Omitted]
3.  On the Egyptian side of the frontier, facing the El Auja area, no Egyptian defensive positions shall be closer to El Auja than El Qouseima and Abou Aoueigila.
4.  The road Taba-Qouseima-Auja shall not be employed by any military forces whatsoever for the purposes of entering Palestine.
5.  The movement of armed forces of either Party to this Agreement into any part of the area defined in paragraph 2 of this Article, for any purpose, or failure by either Party to respect or fulfil any of the other provisions of this Article, when confirmed by the United Nations representatives, shall constitute a flagrant violation of this Agreement.

All prisoners of war detained by either Party to this Agreement and belonging o the armed forces, regular or irregular, of the other Party shall be exchanged as follows:
1.  The exchange of prisoners of war shall be under United Nations supervision and control throughout. . . .
[Paras 2, 3, 4, 5 omitted.]

1.  The execution of the provisions of this Agreement shall be supervised by a Mixed Armistice Commission composed of seven members, of whom each Party shall designate three, and whose Chairman shall be the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization or a senior officer from the Observer personnel of that Organization designated by him following consultation with both Parties to this Agreement.
2.  The Mixed Armistice Commission shall maintain its headquarters at El Auja, and shall hold its meetings at such places and at such times as it may deem necessary for the effective conduct of its work.
3. [Omitted.]
4.  Decisions of the Mixed Armistice Commission, to the extent possible, shall be based on the principle of unanimity. In the absence of unanimity, decisions shall be taken by a majority vote of the members of the Commission present and voting. On questions of principle, appeal shall lie to a Special Committee, composed of the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization and one member each of the Egyptian and Israeli Delegations to the Armistice Conference at Rhodes or some other senior officer, whose decisions on all such questions shall be final. If no appeal against a decision of the Commission is filed within one week from the date of said decision, that decision shall be taken as final. Appeals to the Special Committee shall be presented to the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, who shall convene the Committee at the earliest possible date.
5.  The Mixed Armistice Commission shall formulate its own rules of procedure. Meetings shall be held only after due notice to the members by the Chairman. The quorum for its meetings shall be a majority of its members.
6.  The Commission shall be empowered to employ Observers . . .
7.  Claims or complaints presented by either Party relating to the application of this Agreement shall be referred immediately to the Mixed Armistice Commission through its Chairman. The Commission shall take such action on all such claims or complaints by means of its observation and investigation machinery as it may deem appropriate, with a view to equitable and mutually satisfactory settlement.
8.  Where interpretation of the meaning of a particular provision of this Agreement is at issue, the Commission's interpretation shall prevail, subject to the right of appeal as provided in paragraph 4. The Commission, in its discretion and as the need arises, may from time to time recommend to the Parties modifications in the provisions of this Agreement.
9.  The Mixed Armistice Commission shall submit to both Parties reports on its activities as frequently as it may consider necessary. A copy of each such report shall be presented to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for transmission to the appropriate organ or agency of the United Nations.
10. Members of the commission and its Observers shall be accorded such freedom of movement and access in the areas covered by this Agreement as the Commission may determine to be necessary, provided that when such decisions of the Commission are reached by a majority vote United Nations Observers only shall be employed.
11. The expenses of the Commission, other than those relating to United Nations Observers, shall be apportioned in equal shares between the two Parties to this Agreement.

No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question.

1.  The present agreement is not subject to ratification and shall come into force immediately upon being signed.
2.  The Agreement, having been negotiated and concluded in pursuance of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948 calling for the establishment of an armistice in order to eliminate the threat to the peace in Palestine and to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, shall remain in force until a peaceful settlement between the Parties is achieved, except as provided in paragraph 3 of this Article.
3.  The Parties to this Agreement may, by mutual consent, revise this Agreement or any of its provisions, or may suspend its application, other than Articles I and II, at any time. In the absence of mutual agreement and after this Agreement has been in effect for one year from the date of its signing, either of the Parties may call upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convoke a conference of representatives of the two Parties for the purpose of reviewing, revising or suspending any of the provisions of this Agreement other than Articles I and II. Participation in such conference shall be obligatory upon the Parties.
4.  If the conference provided for in paragraph 3 of this Article does not result in an agreed solution of a point in dispute, either Party may bring the matter before the Security Council of the United Nations for the relief sought on the grounds that this Agreement has been concluded in pursuance of Security Council action toward the end of achieving peace in Palestine.
5. [Omitted.]
6. This Agreement is signed in quintuplicate . . .

In faith whereof the undersigned representatives of the Contracting Parties have signed hereafter, in the presence of the United Nations Acting Mediator on Palestine and the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization.

Done at Rhodes, Island of Rhodes, Greece, on the twenty-fourth of February nineteen forty-nine.

For and on behalf of the              For and on behalf of the
Government of Egypt                                         Government of Israel
COLONEL SEIF EL DINE                                   WALTER EYTAN
COLONEL EL RAHMANY                                   COLONEL YIGAEL YADIN

Friday, January 27, 2017

54A - PM Moshe Sharett to Ambassador Nicholls, conveying message to British Foreign Secretary, Harold Macmillan, May 5, 1955

Jerusalem, 5 May 1955

I appreciate the trouble Mr. Macmillan has taken to comment on my letter to you and should like in reply to make the following observations which cover also certain aspects of Sir Anthony Eden’s recent speech in the House of Commons.
   (1) Regarding the effects of the Turco-Iraqi Pact and the adherence thereto of the United Kingdom, our apprehensions remain unallayed. The view expressed by Sir Anthony Eden that these arrangements for the first time directed Iraq's attention away from Israel has unfortunately not yet been borne out by facts. On the contrary, the Pact has enabled Iraq to extract from Turkey a public commitment against Israel, of which the first fruit was Turkey’s identification with the Arab line at the Bandung Conference. Her Majesty’s Government’s dissociation of the United Kingdom from the exchange of letters between  the Prime Ministers of Iraq and Turkey was gratifying, but by adhering without reservation to the Pact itself, the United Kingdom has endorsed the disability for which under its terms Israel was singled out. The adverse effects on Israel’s position of this exclusion, and of its endorsement by the United Kingdom, are plain.
   (2) The reaffirmation by Sir Anthony Eden of Britain’s readiness to come to Israel’s assistance in the event of an attack against her is welcomed as an expression of goodwill and friendly intent, but in present circumstances the Government of Israel cannot regard it as adequately meeting the issue. This assurance derives from the Tripartite Declaration of May 1950, which was designed to benefit the Arab states as much as to protect Israel. It represented a principle of policy balanced in its application. But if a balanced structure is superimposed on unbalanced foundation, no equilibrium can result. This precisely the situation which Israel has to face. The security and political scales in the Middle East having been heavily titled against her, no assurance directed in equal measure to both sides can restore the balance.
   (3) The basic fact is that Israel is formally excluded, whether as participant or as beneficiary, from the network of pacts, treaties and agreements now spread over the Middle East. Such is the case with regard to the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, the Anglo-Jordanian Treaty, the United States-Iraqi Agreement. In the view of the Government of Israel, the Western Powers which act as sponsors of, or parties to, those alliances have an inescapable responsibility for the inevitable adverse effects of their policy on Israel’s security and intra-regional position.
   (4) It is against this background that the refusal must be viewed of Her Majesty’s Government to formalise its relationship with Israel on a footing of equality as between two contracting parties – similar to the relationship which exists between it and at least three of Israel’s avowed enemies. The United Kingdom has assumed, and is apparently ready to go on assuming, legally binding obligations based on reciprocity vis-a-vis Arab States. Israel, on the other hand, is expected to rest content with a purely one-sided verbal declaration which does not even apply to her alone. Sir Anthony Eden indeed emphasised that the Tripartite Declaration was not a bilateral one between the United Kingdom and Israel. It was a declaration, he said, in which the United States and France were equally engaged. Yet independently of this Declaration Britain is a party to a series of bilateral treaties with the Arab States. Israel alone does not seem to be eligible for such relationship. Israel’s repeated attempts to engage the United Kingdom Government in a clarification of the issues involved have so far failed. A formal proposal to this effect made in our Note of 22 September 1954 has remained unanswered and was, indeed, ignored in the British reply of 19 October 1954. It is difficult therefore for the Government of Israel to resist the disappointing conclusion that her majesty’s Government is unable to accord to Israel the same measure of friendship and support which it confers on the Arab States which insist on maintaining a state of war against Israel.
   (5) Sir Anthony Eden’s statement that a British guarantee covering Israel could not precede but can only follow the settlement of major issues outstanding between her and the Arab States does not explain, but serves merely further to emphasize, the discrimination with which we see ourselves confronted. No such condition has been prescribed in connection with the treaties thus far signed with certain Arab States, nor are we aware of an intention to apply it in the event of other Arab States, say Egypt or Syria, declaring their readiness to conclude defence treaties with the United Kingdom. Indeed, the postponement of a guarantee to a time after the Arab-Israel conflict has been resolved borders on the paradoxical. It is precisely because the Arab States maintain an implacable hostility towards Israel, and despite that hostility are considered eligible for participation in the Western defence system, that Israel is in need of, and feels herself entitled to seek, a special guarantee for her security. In the absence of a settlement, a guarantee becomes essential. It may even prove useful as conducing to a settlement. Its importance dwindles if it is envisaged merely as a post factum imprimatur on a settlement already achieved.
   (6) I have given a good deal of thought to the implications of Mr. Macmillan’s statement that the process of drawing the Arab States into a defence association with the United Kingdom was an essential step towards inducing in them sufficient confidence both in themselves and in the West to enable them to contemplate putting their relations with Israel on a better footing. The implication seem obvious: no defence association with Israel is possible before a settlement between her and the Arab States has been reached; no such settlement is possible before all, or nearly all, Arab states have been drawn into the orbit of a Western defence system; hence Israel must be relegated to the tail of the queue both in point of time and in order of precedence.
   (7) From a practical aspect the conditioning of any guarantee to Israel on a prior settlement of the major outstanding issues appears bound to retard rather than hasten the advent of a settlement, for the simple reason that the Arab states are entirely uninterested in seeing Israel's integrity guaranteed. Moreover, if an initiative is taken by the United Kingdom, or by any other third Power, to outline specific proposals on which a settlement might be based, further serious complications are bound to ensue. The nature of the Arab-Israel conflict is such as always to expose Israel to the danger that she will be confronted with demands for unilateral concessions. Israel claims no Arab territory. The Arab States claim territory from Israel. Israel does not ask that Jews who fled to her from Arab lands be repatriated. The Arab States insist on the repatriation of Arab refugees. In these circumstances, what the Arab states can be called upon to concede is merely a claim to something which they in any case do not possess; whereas Israel may be faced with the demand to give up what she has. Should the proposed settlement be based on such an approach Israel will have no choice but to reject it, nor will a Power sponsoring the proposal be free in the eyes of our people from a charge of partisanship. The Arabs, on the other hand, would hail the concessions demanded of Israel as a triumph of their intransigence and, far from becoming amenable to a compromise, feel encouraged to persevere in the their tactics and press for even more far-reaching concessions. To avoid any possible misapprehension, I take this opportunity of reiterating Israel’s categorical misapprehension; I take this opportunity of reiterating Israel’s categorical refusal to cede any part of her territory or to readmit Arab refugees. Minor and mutual adjustments of the frontier fall into a different category and can always be considered when the time comes for demarcating the line as a result of a peace settlement; there will also be a continued application of the principles governing the grant of entry permits under the Reunion of Families’ Scheme.
   (8) I appreciated the proposal that Her Majesty’s Government should use its good offices with the Prime minister of Egypt in exploring the possibility of a settlement. We should welcome such initiative if it were directed towards inducing the Egyptian Government or respond to Israel’s repeated offers of contact and negotiation but not if it were used as an occasion for proposing specific terms liable to prejudge the issue and possibly wreck the chances of an eventual understanding. The responsibility for such an untoward outcome of a well-meant intervention would be very grave. As things stand, Egypt still owes a reply to the United Nations’ proposal, which Israel has accepted, for a high level meeting to deal with problems of border security along the Gaza Strip. Her Majesty’s Government will also be aware of Israel’s readiness to proceed to the gradual payment of compensation for abandoned Arab lands – which may necessitate a special loan – provided the Suez-Canal blockade against Israel shipping and threats and reprisals by Arab States against foreign firms having connections with Israel are discontinued. These proposals offer scope for progress without being fraught with the danger of irreparable harm, such as is liable to be caused by the raising of issues which directly and fundamentally affect Israel’s sovereignty in terms of territory and population.
   (9) I deeply regret that my first communication intended for transmission to Mr. Macmillan should be somewhat sombre in tone but I believe that, in view of the serious issues at stake, a candid expression of our views and feeling at this stage will serve the best interests of Anglo-Israel friendship which I am sure Mr. Macmillan no less than I has much at heart.

SOURCE: DFPI 10, doc.208.