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The March 1979 signing of a Middle East peace treaty agreed to in the Camp David Accords of 1978 Arranged by President Carter the accord between Egypts President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin finally ended the 30-year state of war between the two countries CNN This was the first time that a peace treaty was signed dealing with the Middle East But the treaty was condemned by most Arab states and President Sadat was seen as a traitor to Arabs CNN Ultimately the Camp David Accords set the tone for future progress in the conflict between Arabs and Israelis This agreement proved it was possible for Israel to forge a lasting peace with a former enemy even handing back conquered lands in return for recognition and secure frontiers Ross 71 The next significant move toward peace occurred ten years after Camp David By the late 1980s the PLO was coming around to the view that it could never defeat Israel in an armed struggle It was also being encouraged by the Soviet Union to reach a negotiated settlement with Israel The turning point came at a meeting of Palestine National Council in Algiers in November 1988 Arafat announced that an independent Palestine could coexist with an independent Israel and he renounced violence as a means of achieving the Palestinians aims The Israeli parliament was dominated by the hard-line Likud Party and was in no mood to compromise but the United States immediately began talks with Arafats representatives Ross 71 A number of factors initially held back any rapid progress One the Likud Party did not want to negotiate with the PLO whom they dismissed as terrorists Other problematic factors were the intifada The Palestinian uprising against the Israelis and further Jewish settlements on the West Bank The continued terrorist attacks on northern Israel played right into the hands of hard-line Israelis as did continued opposition to Israel from Syria and Jordan
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