26 February 1980

Egypt and Israel establish full diplomatic relations.

Egypt–Israel relations are foreign relations between Egypt and Israel. The state of war between both countries which dated back to the 1948 Arab–Israeli War culminated in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and was followed by the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty a year after the Camp David Accords, mediated by US president Jimmy Carter. Full diplomatic relations were established on January 26, 1980. Egypt has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consulate in Eilat. Israel has an embassy in Cairo and a consulate in Alexandria.

Their shared border has two official crossings, one at Taba and one at Nitzana. The crossing at Nitzana is for commercial and tourist traffic only. The two countries’ borders also meet at the shoreline of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea.

Peace between Egypt and Israel has lasted for more than thirty years and Egypt has become an important strategic partner of Israel. In January 2011, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former defense minister known for his close ties to Egyptian officials, stated that “Egypt is not only our closest friend in the region, the co-operation between us goes beyond the strategic.

Nevertheless, the relationship is sometimes described as a “cold peace”, with many in Egypt skeptical about its effectiveness. The Arab-Israeli conflict kept relations cool and anti-Israeli incitement is prevalent in the Egyptian media.

Israel-Egypt Armistice Commission building
In 2003, Egyptian Air Force UAVs entered Israeli airspace and overflew the nuclear research facilities at Nahal Sorek and Palmachim Airbase. Israel threatened to shoot the drones down.

Although diplomatic relations were established in 1980, the Egyptian ambassador to Israel was recalled between 1982 and 1988, and again between 2001 and 2005 during the Second Intifada.

During the final years of the Mubarak administration, the leading Egyptian official conducting contacts with Israel had been the head of Egyptian intelligence Omar Suleiman. Suleiman was ousted from power at the same time as Mubarak, and Israel was said to have very few channels of communication open with Egypt during the events of 2011.

Egypt undermined the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip by opening the Rafah border to persons in May 2011. The Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian parliament wished to open trade across the border with Gaza, a move said to be resisted by Egypt’s Tantawi government.

After an exchange of rocket fire between Gaza and Israel in March 2012, the Egyptian parliamentary committee for Arab affairs urged the Egyptian government to recall its ambassador to Israel from Tel Aviv, and deport Israel’s ambassador in Egypt. This was largely symbolic since only the ruling military council can make such decisions.

Relations have improved significantly between Israel and Egypt after the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état,[16] with close military cooperation over the Sinai insurgency. Notably, Israel has permitted Egypt to increase its number of troops deployed in the Sinai peninsula beyond the terms of the peace treaty. These developments, along with deteriorating Israel-Jordan relations, have led some to brand Egypt as Israel’s “closest ally” in the Arab world,[20] while others assert that relations remain relatively cold. Sisi has maintained the policy of previous Egyptian presidents of pledging not to visit Israel until Israel recognizes Palestinian statehood, although his Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, has visited Israel.