President Jimmy Carter, center, shakes hands with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the signing of the landmark Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty on the grounds of the White House in March 1979.

Photograph by Warren K. Leffler, courtesy Library of Congress

Download this file

  • On March 26, 1979, leaders from Egypt and Israel ended more than 30 years of hostilities with a landmark peace treaty signed in Washington, D.C. The treaty was largely attributed to the so-called “Camp David Accords” of a year earlier, named after the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland, where President Jimmy Carter negotiated the accords with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
    The treaty ended Israeli occupation of the Sinai Peninsula. This included withdrawal of both military and civilian personnel, as well as an end to the economic occupation of oil fields in the Sinai. The treaty also established an outline for increased autonomy for Palestinians in Israel’s West Bank and Gaza Strip regions—today’s Palestinian Territories.
    Sadat endured massive opposition from the Arab world. Many leaders interpreted the treaty as an indication that Egypt would no longer support Palestinian independence or Syrian and Jordanian opposition to the Israeli presence in the Middle East. In 1981, Sadat was assassinated by extremists in the Egyptian military who opposed the treaty.
    Both Sadat and Begin praised Carter’s tireless work on the treaty. Begin ended his address with hope for the future, using the Hebrew and Arabic words for peace: “No more war, no more bloodshed, no more bereavement, peace unto you, shalom, saalam, forever.”
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    accord Noun

    agreement, usually a settlement of a dispute.

    Arab Noun

    people and culture native to the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, and Western Asia.

    assassinate Verb

    to murder someone of political importance.

    attribute Verb

    to think to be caused by.

    autonomy Noun


    bereavement Noun

    grief, or a period of intense mourning.

    civilian Noun

    person who is not in the military.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    endure Verb

    to survive.

    establish Verb

    to form or officially organize.

    extremist Noun

    person who supports radical (extreme) political or social positions.

    independence Noun

    state or situation of being free.

    indication Noun

    hint or signal.

    interpret Verb

    to explain or understand the meaning of something.

    massive Adjective

    very large or heavy.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    negotiate Verb

    to discuss with others of different viewpoints in order to reach an agreement, contract, or treaty.

    oil field Noun

    region with a large number of oil wells or other extractive technologies.

    opposition Noun

    group opposing, criticizing, or protesting another, usually larger or more well-known, group.

    personnel Noun

    employees or all people working toward a common goal.

    treaty Noun

    official agreement between groups of people.