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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cairo Court Throws Out Camp David Lawsuit

Source: The Jerusalem Post
Joanna Paraszczuk

The Cairo Administrative Court dismissed on Tuesday a lawsuit calling for the 1978 Camp David peace accords between Egypt and Israel to be annulled.

Three lawyers filed the lawsuit against Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr.

The Camp David peace treaty was signed by then-Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and his Egyptian counterpart Anwar Sadat on September 17, 1978. The treaty severely restricts the amount of Egyptian troops and artillery permitted in Sinai.

The petitioners argued that Egypt’s limited military presence in Sinai, as set out in the Camp David accords, had resulted in the growing number of terrorist groups in the peninsula. These armed militant groups directly threatened Egypt’s national sovereignty, the petition contended.

In rejecting the suit, Judge Fareed Nazieh Tanagho said that the court was not competent to hear the case, as it relates to an issue of national sovereignty, which can only be decided by Egypt’s president.

Since Morsi’s election as president in June, several groups and political figures have called on the Egyptian premier to cancel the peace treaty with Israel, particularly in the light of the growing number of jihadist groups in the Sinai peninsula.

One of the most vocal advocates for annulling the Camp David accords has been Morsi’s advisor, political analyst Mohamed Esmat Seif Dawla, who told Egypt’s al-Ahram al- Arabi magazine earlier this month that Clause 4 of the treaty restricts Egypt’s freedom and must be amended before Sinai “is fully lost.”

Dawla said that under the security arrangements stipulated in the treaty, there is also a chance that Israel may move to occupy the peninsula again.

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