Egyptian-Israeli Military Talks Begin at Kilometer 101

October 29, 1973

At the end of the October War, after several miscommunications, the first Egyptian-Israeli Military Talks between Israeli and Egyptian Generals takes place at 1am in Israeli-controlled territory 101 kilometers from Cairo. On a cold evening at a wooden table under a camouflage canopy strung out over several tanks. Egyptian General el-Gemasy and Israeli General Aharon Yariv entered talks that eventually detailed military disengagement between the armies, arranged for the exchange of POWS, and provided food and supply to the Israel surrounded Egyptian.

Talks continued for more than three weeks and went beyond military matters into political discussions. The contents of the meetings were carefully choreographed by Egyptian President Sadat in Cairo and Israeli Prime Minister Meir in Jerusalem. The first set of talks ended around 4 am. The UN arranged for the talks, but played no role in mediating their substance, other than facilitating their implementation. Details of the direct military talks were shared with Secretary of State Kissinger through Meir in her visit to Washington in early November and by Sadat through his Foreign Minister. Meir and Sadat managed the details without the Americans present. According to both Generals, the atmosphere of the talks was professional, business-like, with Yariv and Gemasy developing a distinct fondness for one another.