Knesset Marks 40 Years to Landmark Sadat Speech

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
Egyptian ambassador to Israel Hazem Ahdy Khairat speaks during a ceremony marking 40 years since the visit of former President of Egypt Anwar Sadat, in the Knesset on Tuesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Knesset held a special session Tuesday to mark 40 years since the historic visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Sadat’s 1977 address to the Knesset is credited with paving a path for peace between the countries. Two years later, Israel and Egypt signed a formal peace accord and Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula it had captured in the 1967 war. They have maintained quiet but close security ties since. Israel later made peace with Jordan, too.

Sadat’s visit came just four years after Israel and Egypt fought a bitter war that claimed thousands of casualties.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein opened the event, which was attended by the Egyptian ambassador to Israel, Hazem Ahdy Khairat. He called the Sadat address “groundbreaking.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu celebrated Sadat’s recognition of Israel, and told the Knesset he had not “encountered a Palestinian Sadat” willing to support Israel’s right to live in peace.