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1949 Armistice Agreements
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 remained in control of a strip of land along the coast, which became 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 ('the Blue 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 between Jerusalem and Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University, along the Latrun-Jerusalem Highway, 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 zones.
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.
Cease-fire line vs. permanent border
The agreements left about 70% of mandatory Palestine (another often used number is 17.5% of the original Mandate territory which also included Jordan) in Israeli hands. The rest of the area (the Gaza Strip and West Bank) stayed occupied by Egypt and Jordan respectively, until 1967. See:
The armistice agreements were intended to serve only as interim agreements, until they would be replaced by permanent peace treaties. However, no peace treaties were actually signed until decades later.
The armistice agreements were clear that they were not creating permanent or de jure borders. The Egyptian-Israeli agreement stated "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." 
The Jordanian-Israeli agreement stated: "... no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations" (Art. II.2), "The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto." (Art. VI.9) 
In the years following the agreements, Israeli leaders consistently warned against turning the cease-fire line into the permanent border on the grounds of Israel's security:
- Prime Minister Golda Meir noted the pre-1967 borders were so dangerous that it "would be treasonable" for an Israeli leader to accept them (New York Times, December 23, 1969).
- The Foreign Minister Abba Eban said the pre-1967 borders have "a memory of Auschwitz" (Der Spiegel, November 5, 1969).
- Prime Minister Menachem Begin described a proposal for a retreat to the pre-1967 borders as "national suicide for Israel."
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.
Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties
- Paris Peace Conference, 1919
- Faisal-Weizmann Agreement
- Camp David Accords (1978)
- Madrid Conference of 1991
- Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
- Oslo Accords (1993)
- Camp David 2000 Summit
- Peace Process in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
- Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
- List of Middle East peace proposals
- International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
The complete texts of the Armistice Agreements can be found at The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
- Egyptian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement, February 24, 1949
- Jordanian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement, April 3, 1949
- Lebanese-Israeli General Armistice Agreement, March 23, 1949
- Israeli-Syrian General Armistice Agreement, July 20, 1949
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