On 6 January 1949, Dr Ralph Bunche announced that Egypt had finally
consented to start talks with Israel on an armistice. The talks began on the Greek island of Rhodes on 12 January, and, shortly after their commencement, Israel agreed to the release of a besieged Egyptian brigade in Faluja. At the end of the month, the talks foundered.
Israel demanded that Egypt withdraw all its forces from the former area of Palestine, Egypt insisted that Arab forces withdraw to the positions which they held on 14 October 1948, as under Security Council Resolution S/1070 of 4 November 1948. One reason for the deadlock was the mounting tension in Egypt, which culminated on 12 February 1949 in the murder of Hassan al-Banna, leader of the Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood. In early February, Israel threatened to abandon the talks, where upon the United States appealed to the parties to bring them to a successful conclusion, and on 24 February the Israel؟Egypt Armistice Agreement was signed in Rhodes.
The main points were:
The armistice line was drawn along the international border (dating back to 1906) for the most part, except near the Mediterranean Sea, where Egypt remained in control of a strip of land along the coast, which became known as the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian forces besieged in the Faluja Pocket were allowed to return to Egypt with their weapons, and the area was handed over to Israel.
A zone on both sides of the border around 'Uja al-Hafeer (Nitzana) was to be demilitarized, and became the seat of the bilateral armistice committee.
The agreement with Lebanon was signed on 23 March 1949. The main points were:
The armistice line ("Green Line", see also Blue Line (Lebanon)) was drawn along the international border.
Unlike the other agreements, there was no clause disclaiming this line as an international border, which was thereafter treated as it had been previously, as a de jure international border.
Israel withdrew its forces from 13 villages in Lebanese territory, which were occupied during the war.
At the beginning of March 1949, talks began on the island of Rhodes between Israeli and Jordanian representatives under the chairmanship of Dr. Bunche. The major issues raised by Israel were free access to Jewish Holy Places in Jerusalem, border rectification, and the presence of Iraqi forces in the West Bank. Jordan sought to raise the Arab refugee question and the question of passage from the Old City of Jerusalem to Bethlehem. On 3 April, the agreement was signed, fixing the armistice line of the West Bank, transferring to Israel a number of Arab villages in the central part of the country and providing for a mixed committee to work out arrangements in Jerusalem (Article VIII).
The agreement with Jordan was signed on 3 April 1949. The main points:
Jordanian forces remained in most positions held by them in the West Bank, particularly East Jerusalem which included the Old City.
Jordan withdrew its forces from their front posts overlooking the Plain of Sharon. In return, Israel agreed to allow Jordanian forces to take over positions in the West Bank previously held by Iraqi forces.
Exchange of territory: According to Article 6 Israel received a territory in the area known as Wadi Ara and the Little Triangle in exchange for territory in the southern hills of Hebron.
A Special Committee was to be formed to make arrangements for safe movement of traffic between Jerusalem and Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University, along the Latrun-Jerusalem Highway, free access to the Holy Places, and other matters.
The agreement with Syria was signed on July 20, 1949. Syria withdrew its forces from most of the territories it controlled west of the international border, which became demilitarized zones. It was emphasised that the armistice line was "not to be interpreted as having any relation whatsoever to ultimate territorial arrangements." (Article V)
Iraq, whose forces took an active part in the war (although it has no common border with Israel), withdrew its forces from the region in March 1949. The front occupied by Iraqi forces was covered by the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan and there was no separate agreement with Iraq.