Text: 1949 Armistice Agreements [significant restrictions on Israel not
implicit in '67 line]
Dr. Aaron Lerner 27 May 2006
President Bush has adopted the terminology of referring to the "1949
Armistice Line" instead of the "1967 Line" as the starting point for
negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians .
Among the "features" of the "1949 Armistice Line" not in the "1967 Line":
1. Israeli forces barred from entering Arab villages in the "triangle" that
was transferred to Israel (Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement Article VI,
2. Force restrictions within 10 kilometers of the Line (Israel-Jordan
Armistice Agreement Article VII, paragraph 1).
3. Force restrictions in much of the Negev (Israel-Jordan Armistice
Agreement Article VI, paragraph 3. and Article VII, paragraph 4.[There were
also force restrictions on the borders with Syria and Lebanon].
The relevant sections of the agreements appear below.
Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, 3 April 1949:
The Parties to the present Agreement,
Responding to the Security Council resolution of 16 November 1948, calling
upon them, as a further provisional measure under Article 40 of the Charter
of the United Nations and in order to facilitate the transition from the
present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, to negotiate an armistice;
...2. The Armistice Demarcation Line for the sector now held by Iraqi forces
shall be as delineated on map 1 in annex I to this Agreement and marked A.
...6. Wherever villages may be affected by the establishment of the
Armistice Demarcation Line provided for in paragraph 2 of this article... It
shall be prohibited for Israeli forces to enter or to be stationed in such
villages, in which locally recruited Arab police shall be organised and
stationed for internal security purposes.
1. The military forces of the Parties to this Agreement shall be limited to
defensive forces only in the areas extending ten kilometres from each side
of the Armistice Demarcation Lines, except where geographical considerations
make this impractical, as at the southernmost tip of Palestine and the
coastal strip. Defensive forces permissible in each sector shall be as
defined in annex II to this Agreement. ...
3. The strength of the forces which may be maintained by the Parties on each
side of the Armistice Demarcation Lines shall be subject to periodical
review with a view toward further reduction of such forces by mutual
agreement of the Parties.
Done at Rhodes, Island of Rhodes, Greece, on the third of April one thousand
nine hundred and forty-nine in the presence of the United Nations Acting
Mediator on Palestine and the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce
For and on behalf of the Government of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom
Colonel Ahmed Sudki El-Jundi
Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed Maayte
For and on behalf of the Government of Israel
Lieutenant-Colonel Moshe Dayan
Definition of Defensive Forces
1. For the purposes of this Agreement defensive forces shall be defined as
1. Land forces
(a) A standard battalion to consist of not more than 800 officers and other
ranks, and to be composed of not more than:
(i) Four rifle companies with ordinary infantry equipment; rifles, LMG's,
SMG's, light mortars, anti-tank rifles and PIAT.
The light mortars shall not be heavier than 2 inch.
The following number of weapons per battalion shall not be exceeded: 48
LMG's, 16 mortars 2 inch, 8 PIAT's;
(ii) One support company with not more than six MMG's, six mortars not
heavier than 3 inch, four anti-tank guns not heavier than six-pounders;
(iii) One headquarters company;
(b) The artillery and anti-aircraft artillery to be allotted to the
defensive forces shall consist of the following type of weapons: field guns
not heavier than twenty-five pounders, the anti-aircraft guns not heavier
than forty millimetres.
2. The following are excluded from the term "defensive forces":
(a) Armour, such as tanks of all types, armoured cars, Bren gun carriers,
halftracks, armoured vehicles or load carriers, or any other armoured
(b) All support arms and units other than those specified in paragraphs I
(a) i and ii, and I (b) above;
(c) Service units to be agreed upon.
3. Air forces
In the areas where defensive forces only are permitted airfields, airstrips,
landing fields and other installations, and military aircraft shall be
employed for defensive and normal supply purposes only.
11. The defensive forces which may be maintained by each Party in the areas
extending ten kilometres from each side of the Armistice Demarcation Lines,
as provided in paragraph I of article VI, shall be as follows for the
sectors described in article V, paragraph 1:
1. Sector Kh Deir Arab (MR 1510-1574) to the northern terminus of the lines
defined in the 30 November 1948 Cease-Fire Agreement for the Jerusalem area:
one battalion each.
2. Jerusalem sector: two battalions each.
3. Hebron-Dead Sea sector: one battalion each.
4. Sector Engeddi to Eylat: three battalions each. In addition, each side
will be allowed one squadron of light armoured cars consisting of not more
than 13 light armoured cars or half tracks. The weapons permissible on these
vehicles will be determined by the Mixed Armistice Commission.
5. Sector now held by Iraqi forces: five battalions each, and one squadron
of armoured cars each.
Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement, 24 February 1949:
...3. Israeli outposts, each limited to platoon strength, may be maintained
in this area at the following points: Deir Suneid, on the north side of the
Wadi (MR 10751090); 700 SW of Sa'ad (MR 10500982); Sulphur Quarries (MR
09870924); Tall-Jamma (MR 09720887); and KHAL Ma'in (MR 09320821). The
Israeli outpost maintained at the Cemetery (MR 08160723) shall be evacuated
on the day after that which follows the signing of this Agreement. The
Israeli outpost at Hill 79 (MR 10451017) shall be evacuated not later than
four weeks following the day on which this Agreement is signed. Following
the evacuation of the above outposts, new Israeli outposts may be
established at MR 08360700, and at a point due east of Hill 79 east of the
Armistice Demarcation Line.
4. In the area of the western front under Israeli control, Israeli defensive
forces only, which shall be based on the settlements, may be maintained. All
other Israeli forces shall be withdrawn from this area to a point or points
north of the line delineated in paragraph 2.A of the Memorandum of 13
November 1948 on the implementation of the resolution of the Security
Council of 4 November 1948.
5. The defensive forces referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 above shall be as
defined in Annex III to this Agreement.
In faith whereof the undersigned representatives of the Contracting Parties
have signed hereafter, in the presence of the United Nations Acting Mediator
on Palestine and the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision
Done at Rhodes, Island of Rhodes, Greece, on the twenty-fourth of February
For and on behalf of the Government of Egypt
Signed: Mahmed Seif El Dine
M. K. El Raliniany
For and on behalf of the Government of Israel
Signed: Walter Eytan
Definition of Defensive Forces
I. Land Forces
1. Shall not exceed:
(a) 3 inf btns, each bn to consist of not more than 800 officers and o.r's
and composed of not more than
(i) 4 rifle coys with ordinary inf. S. A. equipment (rifles, LMG's, SMG's,
light mortars (e.g. 2"), A/tk rifles or Piat,
(ii) I support coy with not more than 6 MMG's, 6 mortars not heavier than
3", 4 A/tk guns not heavier than 6 pdrs,
(iii) 1 HQ coy.
(b) 1 bty of 8 field guns not heavier than 25 pdrs.
(c) 1 bty of 8 A.A. guns not heavier than 40 mm.
2. The following are excluded from the term "Defensive Forces":
(a) Armour, such as tanks, AC's, Bren-carriers, half-tracks, load carriers
or any other AFV's.
(b) All support arms and units other than those specified in paragraph 1(a)
(ii), l(b) and l(c) above.
3. Service units will be in accordance with a plan to be prepared and
approved by the Mixed Armistice Commission.
II. Air Forces
In the areas where Defensive Forces only will be allowed the following
stipulations regarding air forces will be observed:
1. No military air fields, airstrips, landing grounds or installations shall
2. No military aircraft shall take off or land except in an emergency.
III. Sea Forces
No naval base shall be established in areas where Defensive Forces only will
be allowed, nor shall any warship or military vessel enter the territorial
waters adjacent thereto.