The Camp David Accords, comprised of two agreements dealing in turn with Egyptian-Israeli peace and the question of Palestinian self-rule, were signed by former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in the presence of former US President Jimmy Carter in Washington, DC on 17th September 1978. This followed twelve days of secret negotiations between Israel and Egypt at Camp David in Maryland, USA.1
These agreements took place in the aftermath of two wars, the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 October War, and were undertaken to address the underlying issue running through both: territory. With the Israeli occupation of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula after the 1967 war and the Egyptian attempt to gain back its territory in the 1973 war, the negotiations, with US patronage, were intended to facilitate Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai and resolve the broader Palestinian question. In the case of the latter, it was put forward to establish self-governing authorities in the West Bank and Gaza for a five-year interim period, after which the final status of the territories would be resolved.2
The framework related to the Sinai Peninsula was the only part of the agreement that was fully realised. Furthermore, although the preamble to the Camp David Accords states that “the agreed basis for a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Israel and its neighbours is United Nations Security Council Resolution 242,”3 many of the stipulations laid out in this resolution (such as the withdrawal from all formerly occupied territories, which include the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Gaza; ensuring freedom of navigation through international waterways, which includes Gaza; and achieving a just settlement of the Palestinian refugee problem) were not fulfilled by the signatories of the Accords, which were the US, Israel and Egypt.4 In fact, the framework dealing with the Palestinian question was rejected by the Palestinians and the other Arab states, and was even written without the participation of the Palestinians. It did not guarantee full Israeli withdrawal from areas captured in 1967 or the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.