Egypt threatens to void landmark peace treaty with Israel over troop deployments in Gaza

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It was a lukewarm handshake betwixt nan unlikeliest of statesmen, conducted nether nan beaming regard of President Jimmy Carter. Sunlight streamed done nan trees astatine Camp David, Maryland, arsenic Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin solidified a landmark statement that has allowed complete 40 years of bid between Israel and Egypt. 

It has served arsenic an important root of stableness successful a volatile region.

That bid has held done 2 Palestinian uprisings and a series of wars betwixt Israel and Hamas. But now, pinch Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to nonstop Israeli troops into Rafah, a metropolis successful Gaza connected nan separator pinch Egypt, nan Egyptian authorities is threatening to void nan agreement.


Here's a look astatine nan history of nan pact and what could hap if it is nullified.

It was 1977, and Begin, Israel's caller premier minister, opposed ceding immoderate of nan onshore Israel had conquered a decade earlier successful nan 1967 Mideast war. Those lands included Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt and Israel had fought 4 awesome wars, astir precocious successful 1973. So it shocked nan world erstwhile Egypt's Sadat collapsed pinch different Arab leaders and decided to prosecute pinch nan Israelis.

The talks culminated successful nan Camp David Accords successful September 1978 and a bid pact nan pursuing year.

Under nan bid treaty, Israel agreed to retreat from nan Sinai, which Egypt would time off demilitarized. Israeli ships were granted transition done nan Suez Canal, a cardinal waste and acquisition route. The countries established afloat negotiated relations successful Israel's first bid statement pinch an Arab country.

"The Camp David Accords were led by 3 brave men who took a bold stance because they knew nan lasting effects for bid and security, some past and for nan future. We request nan aforesaid benignant of activity today, and that is presently lacking," said Paige Alexander, main executive of nan Carter Center.

Two Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat told The Associated Press connected Sunday that Egypt whitethorn suspend nan bid pact if Israeli troops invade Rafah.

Netanyahu says Rafah is Hamas' past remaining stronghold aft much than 4 months of warfare and that sending successful crushed troops is basal to conclusion nan group.

But Egypt opposes immoderate move that could nonstop hopeless Palestinians fleeing crossed nan separator onto its territory. Rafah besides serves arsenic nan besieged territory's main introduction constituent for humanitarian aid, and an Israeli onslaught could stifle nan deliveries of cardinal supplies.

Rafah's organization has swelled from 280,000 group to an estimated 1.4 cardinal arsenic Palestinians fly fighting elsewhere successful Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of those evacuees are surviving successful sprawling shelter camps.

Netanyahu has ordered nan subject to hole a scheme to evacuate each Palestinian civilians earlier nan violative starts. But it is unclear wherever they will go.

Netanyahu said Sunday that they would beryllium capable to return to unfastened spaces farther north. But those areas person been severely damaged by nan Israeli offensive.

The pact greatly limits nan number of troops connected some sides of nan border, though nan countries person agreed successful nan past to modify those arrangements successful consequence to circumstantial information threats. This has allowed Israel to attraction its subject connected different threats.


Along pinch nan warfare successful Gaza, Israel has engaged successful near-daily skirmishes pinch nan Hezbollah militant group successful Lebanon while its security forces deploy heavy successful nan occupied West Bank.

If Egypt were to nullify nan agreement, it could mean that Israel tin nary longer trust connected its confederate separator arsenic an oasis of calm. Bolstering forces on its separator pinch Egypt would nary uncertainty situation an Israeli subject already thinly stretched.

But it would carnivore superior ramifications for Egypt arsenic well. Egypt has received billions of dollars successful U.S. subject assistance from nan U.S. since nan bid agreement.

If nan statement is voided, it could jeopardize that funding. A monolithic subject buildup would besides strain Egypt's already struggling economy.

Alexander said immoderate measurement that could tie Egypt into nan hostilities "would beryllium catastrophic for nan full region."