Sinai Liberation Day
Observed as a public holiday every year in Egypt, Sinai Liberation Day falls on the anniversary of the liberation of the Sinai Peninsula. This day is observed on April 25th each year in Egypt and has been celebrated since Israel withdrew completely from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982 following the 1979 Camp David Peace Accords. Another purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the beauty of the Peninsula—a place that has many popular tourist destinations such as Dahab and Sharm El Sheikh. These spots are not only popular among tourists but also among Egyptians.
The History of Sinai Liberation Day
Since about 3,100 B.C., the Sinai Peninsula has been part of Egypt. At least, this was the case until the mid-1950s when Egypt prohibited Israeli ships from accessing the Suez Canal. This forced Israeli ships to take a longer route to Europe. As a result, tensions in the area were raised, and Israeli forces ended up occupying the Sinai Peninsula. After pressure from the U.S. and USSR, Israel withdrew its troops in 1957. The United Nations then established a presence in the area to avoid any future conflicts.
In May of 1967, Egypt forced the UN to leave, which led to the Six-Day War between Israel and an Arab coalition consisting primarily of troops from Syria, Jordan, and the UAR (United Arab Republic) Egypt. Once again, Israel occupied the entire Peninsula as well as other territories in the region. The conflict between Egypt and Israel continued for a long time and eventually culminated in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Eventually, the Camp David Accords in 1978 led to Israel and Egypt signing a peace treaty. In that peace treaty, Israel agreed to completely withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. On April 25, 1982, the complete Israeli withdrawal was completed.
Observing Sinai Liberation Day
This is a national holiday in Egypt, so many government buildings and banks are closed on this day. Egyptians also attend ceremonies commemorating the event or take part in other activities.