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Camp David: a first step

September 12, 1986



``One of those rare, bright moments of history,'' is how President Carter characterized the day eight years ago, when Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin agreed on a framework for peace. The Camp David accords called for discussion on: Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

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A framework for settling the future of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with a five-year transition period of Palestinian self-rule while the areas' final status was determined.

Even before treaty negotiations began, Mr. Begin came under fire in Israel for his willingess to concede territory. Arab criticism forced Sadat to insist on linking a peace treaty to the future of the West Bank and Gaza and on a timetable for Palestinian self-rule.

The final Camp David treaty of March 26, 1979:

Provided for normalizing Egypt-Israel relations.

Detailed negotiations on trade, culture, etc.

Specified a three-year Israeli pullout from Sinai.

Called for Egyptian-Israeli negotiations, under US supervision, on Palestinian self-rule.

Soon after, all but two Arab states ostracized Egypt. Egyptian-Israeli diplomatic ties were established, and Israel completed its withdrawal from Sinai in April 1982. But the Palestinian autonomy talks have stayed at an impasse.