Hassan-Tuhami-Dayan Meeting Minutes: The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations

(6 December 1977)

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Source in Hebrew:

Note: Israel National archives published on November 27, 2013 about 40 classified documents that described the secret contacts and the preparations for Sadat visit to Jerusalem on November 20, 1977

http://www.archives.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/D00C6CF8-704C-4050-96C8-391CAC8ADA37/0/Egypt37a.pdf

Strictly to the addressee
Top Secret
December 6, 1977
Prime Minister Office/911

Subject: Our representative’s report of the meeting between Hassan-Tuhami-Dayan

(The content of the following is not a verbatim report, but a presentation of the major issues that were raised by the participants in the meeting. The content of the points made by each participant are not brought forth in the order of their delivery, but rather presented in a condensed and concise fashion).

The first meeting

  1. The First meeting with Tuhami took place at the presence of the King, the Minister of the Court, Ozer Dalimi…and two advisors to the King….The King and his entourage left the meeting and returned back a few times in order to allow Dayan and Tuhami to meet in privacy.

The King’s remarks:

The King pays tribute to Sadat’s courage in his recent initiative. He noted that we are all in the same single boat, we fought enough and even if Sadat may wish to halt this process we should continue. I only wish that I could get you closer for a joint effort. We have to talk. Your problems are not mine, but we have the responsibility. Sadat said that he would have been happy if Dayan were the one to take the negotiation into his hands. Since Dayan took the trouble and traveled so far to be here, his efforts should be appreciated. The peace process must continue. I will leave you (Dayan and Tuhami) to discuss your problems between the two of you.

  1. (After the King returned) he said that Sharem Al-Sheik and your presence there is like a transistor (note: No one could figure out what was the meaning of transistor). Jerusalem is the concern of all Muslims. (He turns to Dayan) You have Sadat together with me on your side.Syria would not be able to continue while being isolated. Egypt and Jordan will proceed without Syria. Please start the talk with your concerns on small issues, such as territorial arrangements. Together, please begin to concentrate on the main problems involved in reaching peace.

Dayan’s comments:

  1. wishes to clarify what kind of peace that you want (he addresses Tuhami). If it will not be peace as we perceive it, then it will not be strong and without sound foundation. What do you, Tuhami, wishes us to do now? Do you wish that those who will conduct the negotiations be of lower ranks, as you have suggested, for the next meeting in Cairo?

They will not be able to advance the momentum for peace. Being of lower ranks – they will be like technicians. I came here to find out what you want. Before I came here I clarified our position in a lengthy discussion with Begin. Begin wants to talk with Sadat.

  1. Though our proposals are not yet complete, the main points are as follows:
  2. No to an independent Palestinian state.
  3. There will not be a total withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza.

There will be a major change in the following subjects but within the framework of Clauses A and B.

  1. The Golan Heights: About the same approach as to the Sinai. The Israeli settlements will remain intact and their inhabitants will be under the jurisdiction of Israeli courts and the judicial system.  In the Sinai – East of the Jidi and the Mitleh Passes will be a demilitarized zone with joint patrol until 2000 and then it will be reevaluated.
  2. If you quote me, I’ll express my objection, but I will support the premise that the previous Egyptian territories will be 100% under Egyptian sovereignty, with UN supervision as far as Ras Muhammad.
  3. Sharem al-Sheik will be under UN supervision, but we will be able to remain there with our tourists and our commercial enterprises. Maybe we can develop Joint enterprises.
  4. The Golan Heights: We have problems with Assad. Something similar can be deployed there instead of military – maybe joint police patrols. Our People, all of our People, even my own children, will not agree to the removal of settlements, even if it means no-peace. We simply cannot pack our settlements and leave.

Sadat himself brought-up the issue of free navigation along the shores of the Red Sea under UN supervision. This is in the core of our proposal on the subject of Sharem-al Sheik. The above mentioned can serve as a basis for negotiations. If you do not agree, then we will have to reconsider the issue as a whole and all of our above-mentioned suggestions will be regarded as if they were not serving as a base for our proposal.

Tuhami’s comments:

  1. We do not want to create additional problems to the ones that we already have. Let us check the options. You, Dayan have to come to Cairo with your Deputy Prime Minister. I waited for your arrival here to find out where we stand today. Our letter of invitation to Cairo does not exclude the possibility of a more senior ranking coming with. You have to propose. We think that you should bring Yadin with you. Before we commit ourselves, we have to wait for the results of the Tripoli Summit. If it would have positive results from our stand-point, we will be able to advance matters in a different way. We want to arrive at a peace agreement. However, even if the matters will not improve, we shall take the initiative into our own hands. We are planning to have a comprehensive understanding, but we do not wish it to be perceived as a separate peace agreement. The solution of a Palestinian state has to concur with the aspiration of the Arab countries. Sadat does not wish to meet begin discreetly, but only in the open with the condition that there will be results. This is why the timing is not ripe yet. We have to meet – you, Yadin myself and our teams. We need to meet overseas and not in Cairo.

The letter that we gave you has to serve as a working paper. We shall discuss it. Sadat said that the settlements must be removed. Not immediately, but with a plan that entails full compensation for everything. Otherwise a peace treaty will be like a partition. Joint patrols do not constitute peace. The meaning of real peace is that our people will return to the liberated territories with their personal weapons. If Israel still holds homes on our land – this is not peace. We can negotiate on the status of the Palestinians. Let us talk about the details of mutual tourism and joint enterprises as part of the overall issues of a peace treaty.

Conversations at dinner

The King

  1. You (Dayan) or one member of your team can meet in an informal way, at your choice, with a representative of the PLO in the United States in a cocktail party or at a friend’s home. Even if you do not agree now, think about it. You don’t have to respond right now…You cannot sit on spears. You have to find a way for peace. You appear to be sad and tense, not as your usual self. You have to help Sadat overcome the difficulties.

Dayan

  1. I am sad because I see no progress in the Egyptian position. We do not proceed despite the fact that what I propose represents big changes in our position. I am an honest person, I cannot see any progress with Assad, or even with Hussein now…He (Hussein) is afraid to get his fingers wet. He will not make a move without Assad. I wish that you are right when you say that Hussein will eventually join Sadat. I do not believe that it will happen. We shall not meet any representative of the PLO – they are murderers. I shall not meet with them anywhere – this has to be crystal clear. There was a proposal that we and the Egyptians will position our mutual representatives in the American embassies in each of our countries. What will be their assignments? Will they also be discussing peace negotiations?  What we can conclude now? I am in a hurry and I was hoping to leave for home in the morning. It depends on Tuhami; does he wish to have another meeting with me?

Tuhami

  1. (To Dayan) Why are you so angry since our meeting? Let us talk amiably. We have to meet again before you leave and you have to present me with a working paper that will include all the points that you have mentioned this evening. I will in turn read you a paper that I received today from President Sadat. We could discuss the settlements being under UN auspecies. We need an agreed upon agenda for all the arrangements. I suggest that we shall meet again in the morning.

A second meeting is held solely between Dayan and Tuhami

Dayan reads the paper to Tuhami that he wrote between the two sessions.

Tuhami

  1. The proposal to allow the settlements to remain after the military withdrawal is actually a breach of International Law. They can remain for a certain period, but 20 years is far too long. We have to deal with sovereign borders and the settlements will turn it into an international region. There can be a demilitarized Zone. However, joint patrols will not lead to a sovereign framework. All the arrangements concerning legal authority, Egyptian flags, the role of the UN and the possibility of shared jurisdiction can be seen only in the context of a short interim period, namely, one year. The Sharem-Ras Muhammad Region is too big.
  2. Do not compare the Golan Heights to the Sinai. Every country has to be dealt with separately and the Golan Heights should not appear in your working paper. After assessing the strip of Sharem and its shores, we shall guarantee complete freedom of maritime navigation. We could be partners in joint projects in Sharem, such as free tourism, but you will not have exclusive rights for development. We could cooperate in mutual investments and economic experiments. We shall formulate our proper proposals. We will be able to permit fishing initiatives, but they should be based on equal partnership. All your settlements will have to be gradually moved to other places. The peace treaty will not be broken on those issues.
  3. There is a message from Sadat. While I was waiting for your arrival, Sadat sent me a message with the following ideas:
  4. Our negotiations will be conducted in the spirit of a comprehensive agreement, and not as bilateral.
  5. We must try to discuss all the difficult issues.
  6. Special emphasis will be put on the status of the occupied territories.
  7. There will be an emphasis on the status of the Palestinian people (Here ends Sadat’s message).
  8. What type of guarantees do you demand and of what nature, international or others? From the perspective of your security, what kind of bilateral arrangements are you looking for and what is your specific concept? We have to discuss the details of the bilateral proposals and the extent of the expectations that they entail. This discussion can be conducted in the U.S., in either one of our countries or only between you and I. If it will be conducted in both our countries by our representatives, it will have to be based on our joint cooperation. I have no objection to the Americans being informed about the meeting and the preparations. You will hear from us. We could meet again here to discuss our concrete counter-proposals to your paper.
  9. I had mentioned Yadin arriving with you in Cairo. This is because at that moment our Foreign Minister has just been appointed as an acting Foreign Minister and we do not wish to replace him because we do not want him to leave his position after the resignation of Fhami and Riad. Therefore, I’ll serve as the senior emissary of Sadat to the negotiations and I’m requesting someone with parallel status, as that of Yadin’s. Our people will not understand why I am meeting with you alone and not with Ghali. This is the official reasoning for inviting Yadin. However, it will be with you that we shall reach peace.

Dayan

  1. The period of regional arrangement under UN supervision will be discussed again after a certain time. It will be possible to deploy Egyptian police in the area.
  2. Why couldn’t Israelis come to Sharem a-Sheik as tourists or businessmen once Israel removes its forces and military bases? It would be absurd to abandon the hotels’ properties there. These can be managed by international companies, such as Hilton etc. This question has psychological aspect as well. The War ended. Such things are done in other places, why not in Egypt?
  3. We should make concrete proposals. We have to continue in Sharem because of the maritime passage.
  4. The Americans know about our meeting here. Could we inform them about the content of our current talks? Where would you like to have our connection in the future – here, or the U.S.? I have to reiterate (the King joins the conversation) that I hope to be mistaken and Hussein will join the negotiations without Syria. We shall help you (to the King). You can depend on our support of the continuation of the momentum for peace. (To Tuhami) We need to hear from you. The ball is in your court. We have conveyed our concepts to you. If you wish, we could maintain our contact via the King’s channel or the Mossad.

The King

  1. We proposed the participation of Yadin in the talks in Cairo so that he would be of a parallel rank to that of Tuhami. If you (Dayan) meet with Tuhami alone, the Acting Foreign Minister will resign, and it will not serve our cause. As of this moment, I shall not meet with Carter. I just postponed the meeting because of the developments in the Middle East. My presence now may be misinterpreted in the U.S., and I wish to stay close to the events. The problem today is the gap between the moderate and the radical Arab countries. I thank you both for standing with us and we are grateful for your support. The momentum for peace is subjected to ups and downs.

If Hussein will join Sadat, these two will sign without Syria. Decisions that were made by Arab Summit Meetings were altered in the past (with regards to the Palestinians). We will be able to do the same with the resolutions of the Rabat Summit. We need time for that. Let’s strive for that. The PLO is the cancer within us. Their fate does not concern me at all (the underlined are direct quotes of the King’s words). Both of you have to overcome small issues like Sharem. The final aim is peace. I’ll be glad to host you again under my roof. My home is your home (He stand up to indicate the conclusion of the meeting). We have to arrive at some results. I am asking that…….will be the first Israeli ambassador to my country. I’ll be happy to host the Prime Minister here, on the 18th.