Danger to Israel Should Egypt Abrogate Anticipated Peace Treaty

If Egypt were to abrogate its anticipated peace treaty with Israel, it would take the Egyptian army some 12 hours to occupy part of the demilitarized zone in Sinai and 36 hours to move six to eight full divisions to the international border for the purpose of attacking Israel, according to the Tel Aviv University Center for Strategic Studies (CSS).

This is insufficient time for Israel to mobilize and deploy all its reserve forces, according to the research project on the question, written by Brig. Gen. (Res.) Aryeh Shalev. He outlined a list of security considerations the CSS recommended in addition to those agreed to at the Camp David summit.

The CSS recommended that Israel demand the stationing of United Nations observers not only with-in its own limited forces area but also in the Egyptian limited forces area along the Suez Canal and Gulf of Suez, particularly at the crossing bridges. The CSS said the UN presence would deter Egyptian violation of the proposed treaty and provide an early warning to Israel of a possible attack.

The CSS said Israel should oppose Egyptian construction of any new air bases in Sinai and insist that the Egyptian air force not be allowed to use the existing air bases in this limited forces area or at best not to station combat planes there. The CSS study also recommended that no Egyptian military flights be allowed over the demilitarized zone.

The CSS also proposed that Israel insist an delaying evacuation of the Etzion and Eitam air bases in Sinai until construction is completed of alternate airfields in the Negev, which it estimated would take five to seven years. To further safeguard free passage through the Strait of Tiran, the CSS recommended that Israel should also insist that the area west of Sham el-Sheikh be demilitarized and not on the Egyptian limited forces area as the Camp David accords seem to stipulate.

NEXT STORY