The Sinai Peninsula links Asia and africa and throughout history has been of vital strategic importance, both politically and militarily.
The Sinai Peninsula links Asia and africa and throughout history has been of vital strategic importance, both politically and militarily. Israel took the arid desert region in 1967. Their forces stopped at the Suez Canal and built defences...known as the Bar Lev Line. Originally the intention was to use the Peninsula as a bargaining point in peace negotiations with Egypt. But the 1973 war changes all that.
Egyptian forces crossed the Suez and took the Bar lev Line. Now the region has become of strategic importance to Israel.....it is no longer of bargaining power. israel has moved a large force into the Sinai separated from the Egyptians by a buffer zone patrolled by United Nations troops.
There are two vital passes.....the Mitla and Giddi. The israelis have built a massive observation post near them to watch Egyptian movements across the buffer zone. israeli leaders are discussing their terms for a further interim peace agreement with Egypt. The military opinion is explicit....the passes should not be exchanged except for real peace.
The United States Secretary of State, Doctor Henry Kissinger arrives in Jerusalem next week to hear israel's latest offer, but it is not expected to include withdrawal from the passes. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt has demanded them back.