Israel-Syrinan Armistice Agreement,20 July 1949

Israel-Syrian Armistice Agreement, 20 July 1949

1. The present Agreement is not subject to ratification and shall come into force immediately upon being signed.

2. This Agreement, having been negotiated and concluded in pursuance of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948 calling for the establishment of an armistice in order to eliminate the threat to the peace in Palestine and to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, shall remain in force until a peaceful settlement between the Parties is achieved, except as provided in paragraph 3 of this Article.

3. The Parties to this Agreement may, by mutual consent, revise this Agreement or any of its provisions, or may suspend its application, other than Articles I and III, at any time. In the absence of mutual agreement and after this Agreement has been in effect for one year from the date of its signing, either of the Parties may call upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convoke a conference of representatives of the two Parties for the purpose of reviewing, revising or suspending any of the provisions of this Agreement other than Articles I and III. Participation in such conference shall be obligatory upon the parties.

4. If the conference provided for in paragraph 3 of this Article does not result in an agreed solution of a point in dispute, either Party may bring the matter before the Security Council of the United Nations for the relief sought, on the grounds that this Agreement has been concluded in pursuance of Security Council action toward the end of achieving peace in Palestine.

5. This Agreement, of which the English and French texts are equally authentic, is signed in quintuplicate. One copy shall be retained by each Party, two copies communicated to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for transmission to the Security Council and the United Nations Conciliation Commission on Palestine, and one copy to the Acting Mediator on Palestine.

Done at Hill '132, near Mahanayim, on the twentieth of July nineteen forty-nine, in the presence of the Personal Deputy of the United Nations Acting Mediator on Palestine and the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organisation.

For and on behalf of the Israeli Government

Signed:
Lieutenant-Colonel Mordechai Makleff

Yehoshua Pelman

Shabtai Rosenne

For and on behalf of the Syrian Government

Signed:
Colonel Fozi Selo

Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed Nasser

Captain Afif Bizri

Annex I

Map Delineating Armistice Demarcation Lines (not reproduced here)

Syrian Israeli Armistice Demarcation Line

1. From the point where the Lebanese-Syrian-Palestinian border meets, MR 208.7-294.2, eastward to MR 212.8-294.7.

2. From MR 212.8-294.7, southward along the Wady Assal to "Marabout" Cheikh el Makhfi.

3. A line from "Marabout" Cheikh el Makhfi to "Marabout" Nabi Huda.

4. A line from Nabi Huda to MR 212.7-290.4.

5. From MR 212.7-290.4 to MR 212.4-290.2, thence southward along the Syrian-Palestinian border to point MR 211.0-276.8.

6. From MR 211.0--276.8 to a point on the Wady es Simadi, MR

210. 9-276.7.

7. From MR 210.9-276.7, westward along the Wady es Simadi to intersection of trail MR 210.3-276.5.

8. Southward along trail to MR 209.9-272.6, by-passing Dardara to the east.

9. Westward to MR 209.7-272.6, a point on shoreline of Lake Hula.

10. Southward along shoreline to MR 209.2-271.7, mouth of Jordan River.

11. Northwest along western shoreline of Lake Hula to MR 208.5-272.9.

12. From MR 208.5-272.9, a line to MR 205.2-269.1.

13. From MR 205.2-269.1, a line to MR 208.8-265.0 on Jordan River.

14. Southward along Jordan River to MR 208.7-260.0.

15. From MR 208.7-260.0, a line to MR 208.5-258.2.

16. From MR 208.5-258.2, a line to MR 207.0-257.0.

17. From MR 207.0-257.0, a line to MR 207.4-256.0.

18. From MR 207.4-256.0, southward along the Syrian-Palestinian border to BP 61, MR 210.6-246.3.

19. From BP 61, eastward along the Syrian-Palestinian border to BP 62.

20. From BP 62, southward along the Syria n-Palestinian border to BP 66, MR 211.7-240.1.

21. 21, From BP 66, a line to a point on the eastern shoreline of Lake Tiberias, MR 209.6-239.0.

22. From MR 209.6-239.0, southward along shoreline of Lake Tiberias to MR 206.3-234.8.

23. From MR 206.3-234.8, southward to bend in road at MR 206.3-234.5, then southeast along the west bank of the railroad and the west side of the road to the Block House, MR 207.7-233.4.

24. From Block House, MR 207.7-233.4, a line along the road to the Yarmuk River, on the border, MR 209.5-232.2.

Annex II

Withdrawal of Military and Para-Military Forces; Removal of Mines and Destruction of Permanent Fortifications

Reference Map Scale 1150, 000

1. The withdrawal of military and para-military forces of both Parties with all of their military impedimenta from the Demilitarised Zone, as defined by Article V of this Agreement (see Map), shall be completed within a period of twelve (12) weeks from the date of the signing of this Agreement.

2. Schedule of withdrawal of forces will be as follows:
a. First three (3) weeks, the military force occupying the sector from the Syrian-Palestinian border at the north-south to Ad Darbishiya, MR 211-277.

b. Second three (3) weeks, the military forces occupying the sector from El Hammam, MR 208.7-262.3, south to the Trans-Jordan frontier.

c. Remaining six (6) weeks, the military forces occupying the sector from Ad Darbishiya, MR 211-277, south to El Hammam, MR 208.7-262.3.

3. Removal of minefields and mines, and the destruction or removal of permanent fortifications in the Demilitarised Zone shall be completed in each sector by the end of the third, sixth and twelfth week respectively from the date of the signing of this Agreement.

4. In this connection, each Party is entitled to remove from the Demilitarised Zone its war material. In case it -does not choose to remove material used in fortifications, the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission may require either side to destroy such material before leaving the area. The Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission may similarly order the destruction of such permanent fortifications which, in his view, ought not to remain in the Demilitarised Zone.

Annex III

Defensive Area (See Attached Map)

No military forces, other than those defined in Annex IV, will be authorised to remain or enter the area defined below:
a. On the Syrian side: the area from the boundary to the north - south co-ordinate line 216.

b. On the Israeli side: the area from the Israeli truce line to the north - south co-ordinate line 204, except that where the truce line is established in the Mishmar Hay Yarden salient, the defensive area shall be a distance of six (6) kilometres west from this truce line.

c. Villages which are crossed by the lines defining the defensive area shall be entirely included in the defensive area.

Annex IV

Definition of Defensive Forces

I. Land Forces.

1. These forces not to exceed:
a. Three (3) Infantry Battalions, each Battalion to consist of not more than 600 officers and enlisted men, its accompanying weapons not to exceed twelve (12) medium machine guns (M.M.G.'s) of a calibre not to exceed 8 min., six (6) 81 min. mortars, four (4) anti-tank guns not to exceed 75 min.

b. Six (6) Cavalry Squadrons for Syrian forces, each Squadron not to exceed 130 officers and enlisted men; and for Israeli, two (2) Reconnaissance Squadrons, each Squadron composed of nine (9) jeeps, and three (3) half-tracks, not armoured, its personnel not to exceed one hundred and twenty-five (125) officers and enlisted men.

c. Three (3) Field Artillery Batteries, each Battery not to exceed 110 officers and enlisted men. Each Battery to consist of four (4) guns of a calibre not to exceed 75 mm., and four (4) machine guns (M.M.G.'s) not to exceed 8 min.

d. Service units to the above forces not to exceed:
(i) One hundred (100) officers and enlisted men for supply purposes, not armed.

(ii) One (1) engineer company not to exceed two hundred and fifty (250) officers and enlisted men.

2. The following are excluded from the term "Defensive Forces": armour such as tanks, armoured cars, or any other armoured force carriers.

II. Air Forces.

In the areas where defensive forces only shall be allowed, the use of military aircraft shall be prohibited.

III. Naval Forces.

No naval force shall be allowed in the defensive area.

IV.

In the areas in which defensive forces only have to be maintained, the necessary reduction of forces shall be completed within twelve (12) weeks from the date on which this Agreement is signed.

V.

No traffic restriction is imposed on the transport used for the carrying of defensive troops and supplies within the area of defensive forces.

Explanatory Note by Acting Mediator Bunche, 26 June 1949.

"The question of civil administration in villages and settlements in the demilitarised zone is provided for, within the framework of an armistice agreement, in subparagraphs 5(b) and 5(f) of the draft article. Such civil administration, including policing, will be on a local basis, without raising general questions of administration, jurisdiction, citizenship and sovereignty.

"Where Israeli civilians return to or remain in an Israeli village or settlement, the civil administration and policing of that village or settlement will be by Israelis. Similarly, where Arab civilians return to or remain in an Arab village, a local Arab administration and police unit will be authorised.

"As civilian life is gradually restored, administration will take shape on a local basis under the general supervision of the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission.

"The Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission, in consultation and co-operation with the local communities, will be in a position to authorise all necessary arrangements for the restoration and protection of civilian life. He will not assume responsibility for direct administration of the zone."

Letter from Dr. Bunche to Foreign Minister Sharett, 26 June 1949.

"Dear Sir,

I have the honour to communicate with you further concerning the Israeli-Syrian armistice negotiations and especially with regard to my compromise proposal for a demilitarised zone. I consider the meeting of the delegations on 28 June to be a most crucial one. In my view agreement can be readily reached on the basis of the compromise proposal if each delegation will come to this meeting determined to give every reasonable assistance to the United Nations effort to achieve agreement between the two parties. On the other hand, agreement can and will be easily obstructed if either delegation, or both of them, should over-emphasise detail or have a legalistic position. I am confident that neither party will wish to bear responsibility for blocking agreement on any such specious basis.

"The provision for the demilitarised zone in the light of all circumstances is the most that can be reasonably expected in an armistice agreement by either party. Questions of permanent boundaries, territorial sovereignty, customs, trade relations and the like must be dealt with in the ultimate peace settlement and not in the armistice agreement.

"I would point out again that previous arrangements for demilitarised zones involving United Nations responsibility, as at al-'Auja, Government House and Mt. Scopus, have worked satisfactorily and have served to protect fully the interests and claims of rival parties pending final settlement. The proposed demilitarised zone in the agreement now under negotiation will work equally well. The United Nations will ensure this since its honour and effectiveness will be involved.

"I may also assure both parties that the United Nations, through the Chairman of the proposed Israeli-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission, will also ensure that the demilitarised zone will not be a vacuum or wasteland, and that normal civilian life under normal local civilian administration and policing will be operative in the zone.

"In this regard, I would point out that in view of the relatively small area involved and the limited number of settlements or villages in it, the administrative and policing problem is not at all a severe or greatly complicated one and can be readily solved. I would also point out that in the projected Mixed Armistice Commission both parties will have a continuing opportunity to discuss and agree upon details affecting this or any other aspect of the armistice agreement, and that the United Nations will find fully satisfactory any subsequent arrangement based on mutual agreement of the two parties. The sole function of the United Nations is to assist the parties in reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement and in giving them such help as they may mutually request in implementing and supervising the terms of the agreement.

"I call attention to the fact that in the Israeli-Transjordan Armistice Agreement, in Article V, paragraph c, and in Article VI, paragraph 2, the armistice demarcation lines agreed upon involved changes in the then existing truce lines, and that this was done in both cases without any question being raised as to the sovereignty over or the final disposition of the territory involved. It was taken for granted by all concerned that this was a matter for final peace settlement. The same applies to the provision for the al-'Auja zone in the Egyptian-Israeli Agreement. From the beginning of these negotiations our greatest difficulty has been to meet Israel's unqualified demand that the Syrian forces be withdrawn from Palestine. We have now, with very great effort, persuaded the Syrians to agree to this. I trust that this will 'not be undone by legalistic demands about broad principles of sovereignty and administration which in any case would be worked out in the practical operation of the scheme.

"In view of the foregoing, and my own firm conviction that the compromise proposal is reasonable and fair to both parties, may I present a strong appeal that the compromise proposal be accepted in essentials on 28 June without attempts at radical amendment.

"I have the honour etc.

Ralph Bunche Acting Mediator."

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