Summary of Recommendations of United Nations Special Committee on Palestine
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Summary of Recommendations of United Nations Special Committee on Palestine

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Fifteen minutes before its September 1 deadline, the United Nations Sepcial Committee on Palestine last night completed its recommendations to the General Assembly, urging, in a majority report, that Palestine be partitioned into Jewish and Arab states within two years and that 150,000 Jews be ##itted in the interim period before independence is made final. A three-delegate authority report urged a federal state with semi-autonomous Jewish and Arab areas.

An official summary of the report – the full text of which runs to 70,000 ##ds – follows:

The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine today signed at Geneva and to the Secretary General for transmission to the General Assembly its report and recommendations on the question of Palestine.

Apart from specific plans as to the constitution of the future government and territorial provisions, matters on which a majority and a minority proposal are sub##ted, the committee forwards to the General Assembly the following eleven unani ## recommendations:

1. The mandate for Palestine shall be terminated at the earliest practicable date.

2. Independence shall be granted in Palestine at the earlieat practicable date.

3. There shall be a transitional period preceding the granting of independence which shall be as short as possible, consistent with the achievement of the conditions essential to independence.

4. During the transitional period the authority entrusted with administering Palestine and preparing it for independence shall be responsible to the United Nations.

5. With regard to religious interest and the holy places:

a. In whatever solution may be adopted, the sacred character of the holy ##aces shall be preserved and access to the holy places shall be insured in accordance with existing rights.

b. The present rights of the several religious communities shall not be ## or denied.

c. An adequate system for the impartial settlement of religious disputes shall devised.

d. Specific stipulations regarding these matters shall be inserted in the constitution or constitutions of any independent Palestinian state or states which any be created.

6. The General Assembly should undertake immediately the initiation and execution of an international arrangement whereby the problem of the distressed European Jews, of whom approximately 250,000 are in assembly centers, will be dealt with as a matter of extreme urgency for the alleviation of their plight and of the Palestine problem.

7. It shall be a prior condition to the granting of independence that the political structure of the new state or states, including its constitution or other fundamental law, shall be basically democratic, i. e., representative in character. The constitution shall contain guarantees of essential human rights and fundamental freedoms and safeguards to protect the rights and interests of mincrities.

8. A prior condition to independence shall also be the incorporation in the constitution of basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including the ##ligation to settle international disputes by peaceful means and to refrain in international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.9. It shall be accepted as a cardinal principle that the preservation of the economic unity of Palestine is indispensable to the life and development of the country and its peoples.

10. States whose nationals have in the past enjoyed in Palestine the privileges and immunities of foreigners, including consular jurisdiction by capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, should be invited by the United Nations to renounce any rights partaining to them in the reestablishment of such privileges and immunities in an independent Palestine.

11. The General Assembly shall call on the peoples of Palestine to extend their fullest cooperation to the United Nations in its effort to devise and put into effect an equitable and workable means of settling the difficult situation prevailing there, and to this end, in the interest of peace, good order, and lawfulness, to exert every effort to bring to an early end the acts of violence which have for too long reset that country.

12. The committee agreed, with two dissenting votes, to a twelfth recommendation as follows:

In the appraisal of the Palestine question it should be accepted as incontro##tible that any solution for Palestine cannot be considered as a solution of the Jewish problem in general.


According to the plan of the majority (the representatives of Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay), Palestine shall be constituted into an Arab state, a Jewish state and the city of Jerusalem. The Arab and the Jewish states will become independent after a transitional period of two {SPAN}##{/SPAN} beginning Sept. 1, 1947. Before, however, their independence can be recognized,


A. During the transitional period, the United Kingdom shall carry on the administration of Palestine under the auspices of the United Nations and on such conditions and under such supervision as the United Kingdom and the United Nations may agree upon. If so desired, the administration will be carried on with the assistance of one or more members of the United Nations. The United Kingdom shall during the transitional period take such preparatory steps as may be necessary for the execution of the scheme recommended and shall carry out the following measures:

1. Admit into the proposed Jewish state 150,000 Jewish immigrants at a uniform ## rate. Should the transitional period continue for more than two years, Jewish ##gration shall be allowed at the rate of 60,000 per year. The Jewish Agency (for Palestine) shall be responsible for the selection and care of the Jewish immigrants and for the organizing of Jewish immigration during the transitional period.2. The restrictions introduced under the authority of the Palestine (amendment) order in council of 25 May, 1939, will not apply to the transfer of land within the borders of the proposed Jewish state.

B. Constituent assemblies shall be elected by the populations of the areas which are to comprise the Arab and Jewish states, respectively. Qualified voters for each state for this election shall be persons over 20 years of age who are: (1) Palestinian citizens residing in that state and (2) Arabs and Jews residing in the state, although not Palestinian citizens, who, before voting, have signed a notice of intention to become citizens of such state.

Arabs and Jews residing in the city of Jerusalem who have signed a notice of intention to become citizens, the Arabs of the Arab state and the Jews of the Jewish state, shall be entitled to vote in the Arab and Jewish states respectively. Women ## vote and be elected to the constituent assemblies.

C. The constituent assemblies shall draw up the constitutions of the states. The constitutions shall provide for the establishment in each state of a legislative body elected by universal suffrage and by secret ballot on the basis of proportional representation and an executive body responsible to the Legislature. They shall also contain provisions for the protection of the holy places, religious buildings and ## and for the religious and minority rights. Equal and non-discriminatory ## in civil, political and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights ## fundamental freedoms shall be guaranteed. Freedom of transit and visit for all residents and citizens of the two states in Palestine and the city of Jerusalem shall be preserved.

D. The constituent assembly in each state shall appoint a provisional government empowered to make the declaration and sign the treaty of economic union. On ## the declaration and signing the treaty of economic union by either state, ## independence as a sovereign state shall be recognized. If only one state fulfills these conditions, the General Assembly of the United Nations shall take such action as it may deem proper. Pending such action, the regime of economic union shall apply.


The declaration shall contain provisions for the protection of the holy places and religious buildings and sites and the religious and minority rights. There shall be no discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or language. The state shall insure adequate primary and secondary education for the Arab or Jewish minorities in their own language and in their cultural traditions, and {SPAN}##{/SPAN} community shall have the right to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language.

Palestinian citizens, as well as Arabs and Jews, who, although not holding Palestinian citizenship, reside in Palestine shall, upon the recognition of independence, become citizens of the state in which they are resident. Such persons, if over 18 years of age, may opt within one year for the citizenship of the other state or declare that they retain the citizenship of the other state or declare that they retain the citizenship of any state of which they are citizens; provided that no person who has signed the notice of intention referred to in Paragraph B above about the constituent assemblies shall have the right of option.

A resident in the city of Jerusalem who signs a notice of intention may out for the citizenship of one of the Palestinian states, if an Arab, of the Arab state, and if a Jew, of the Jewish state.


A treaty shall be entered into between the two states which shall contain certain provisions to establish the economic union of Palestine and to provide for other matters of common interest.


The city of Jerusalem shall be placed, after the transitional period, under {SPAN}##{/SPAN} international trusteeship system by means of a trusteeship agreement which shall {SPAN}##gnate{/SPAN} the United Nations as the administering authority. The city of Jerusalem {SPAN}##{/SPAN} include within its borders the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the sur{SPAN}##ding{/SPAN} villages and towns, the most eastern of which is to be Abu Dis, the most nothern Bethehem, the most western Ein Karim and the most northern Shu’ Fat.

The City of Jerusalem shall be demilitarized.

The governor of the city of Jerusalem shall be appointed by the Trusteeship council of the United Nations. He will be neither Arab nor Jew nor a citizen of the Palestinian states nor, at the time of his appointment, a resident of the city of Jerusalem. The governor shall be empowered to make decisions on the basis of the existing rights (“status quo”) in cases of disputes which may arise between the different communities in respect of the holy places, religious buildings and sites in any part of Palestine.

The protection of the holy places, religious buildings and sites in the city of Jerusalem shall be entrusted to a special police force, the members of which shall be recruited outside Palestine and shall be neither Arab nor Jew. The city of Jerusalem shall be included in the economic union of Palestine.


The proposed Arab state will include western Galilee, the hill country of {SPAN}##maria{/SPAN} and Judea with the exclusion of the city of Jerusalem and the coastal plain from Isdud to the Egyptian frontier. The proposed Jewish state will include eastern dalilee, the Esdraelon plain, most of the coastal plain and the whole of the Beersheba sub-district, which includes the Negev.

The three sections of the Arab state and the three sections of the Jewish state are linked together by two points of intersection, of which one is situated southeast of Afula in the sub-district of Nazareth and the other northeast of el Majdal in the sub-district of Gaza.


Western Galilee is bounded on the west by the Mediterranean and in the north by the frontier of the Lebanon from Ras en Naqra to Qadas; on the east the boundary, starting from Qadas, passes southward, west of Safad to the southwestern corner of the Safad sub-district; thence it follows the western boundary of the Tiberias sub-district to a point just east of Mount Tabor; thence southward to the point of intersection southeast of Afula mentioned above. The southwestern boundary of western Galilee takes a line from this point, passing south of Nazareth and Shafr Amr but north of Beit Lahm, to the coast just south of Acre.

The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea, starting on the Jordan River southeast of Beisan, follows the northern boundary of the Samaria district westward to the point of intersection southeast of Afula, thence again westward to Lajjun, thence in a southwestern direction, passing just west of Tulkarm, east of ##quilia and west of Majdal Yaba, thence bulging westward toward Rishon-le-Zion so as to include Lydda and Ramleh in the Arab state, thence turning again eastward to a point west of Latrun, thereafter following the northern side of the Latrun-Majdal road to the second point of intersection, thence southeastward to a point on the Hebron sub-district to the Dead Sea.The Arab section of the coastal plain runs from a point a few miles north of ## to the Egyptian frontier, extending inland approximately eight kilometers.


The northeastern sector of the proposed Jewish state (eastern Galilee) will have frontiers with Lebanon in the north and west and with Syria and Trans-Jordan on the east and will include the whole of the Huleh basin, Lake Tiberias and the whole of the Beisan sub-district.

From Beisan the Jewish state will extend northwest following the boundary described in respect of the Arab state.

The Jewish sector on the coastal plain extends from a point south of Acre to just north of Isdud in the Gaza sub-district and includes the towns of Haifa, Tel## and Jaffa.

The eastern frontier of the Jewish state follows the boundary described in respect of the Arab state.

The Beersheba area includes the whole of the Beersheba sub-district, which includes the Negeb and the eastern part of the Gaza sub-district south of the point of intersection. The northern boundary of this area, from the point of intersection, ## southeastward to a point of the Sabrou sub-district boundary south of Qbeiba, thence follows the southern boundary of the Hebron sub-district to the Dead Sea.


Three members (the representatives of India, Iran and Yugoslavia) propose an independent federal state. The major provisions of that plan are briefly summarized as follows:


An independent federal state of Palestine shall be created following a transitional period not exceeding three years, during which responsibility for administering Palestine and preparing it for independence shall be entrusted to an authority to be decided by the General Assembly.

The independent federal state shall comprise an Arab state and a Jewish state. Jerusalem shall be its capital.

Independence shall be declared by the General Assembly once a constitution incorporating the following provisions has been adopted by the constituent assembly:

(a). The federal state shall comprise a federal government and governments of the Arab and Jewish states, respectively.

(b). Full authority shall be vested in the federal government with regard to national defense, foreign relations, immigration, currency, taxation for federal purposes, foreign and interstate waterways, transport and communications, copyrights and patents.

(c). The Arab and Jewish states shall enjoy full powers of local self-government and shall have authority over education, taxation for local purposes, the right of residence, commercial licenses, land permits, grazing rights, interstate migration, settlement, police, punishment of crime, social institutions and services, public housing, public health, local roads, agriculture and local industries.

(d). The organs of government shall include a head of state, an executive body, a representative federal legislative body composed of two chambers, and a federal court. The executive shall be responsible to the legislative body.

(e). The head of state shall be elected by a majority vote of both chambers of the federal legislative body. A deputy head of state shall be elected who shall be a representative of the community other than that with which the head of state is identified.

(f). Election to one chamber of the federal legislative body shall be on the basis of proportional representation of the population as a whole and to the other on the basis of equal representation of the Arab and Jewish citizens of Palestine. Legislation shall be enacted when approved by majority votes in both chambers. In the event of disagreement between the two chambers, the issue shall be submitted to an arbitral body of five members, including not less than two Arabs and two Jews.

(g). The federal court shall be the final court of appeal regarding constitutional matters. Its members, who shall include not less than four Arabs and three Jews, shall be elected by both chambers of the federal legislative body.

(h). The constitution shall forbid any discriminatory federal or state legislation against population groups or against either of the states and shall guarantee equal rights for all minorities. It shall be based on the full equality of all citizens of Palestine with regard to the political, civil and religious rights of the individual and shall guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms. It shall guarantee inter alia free access to holy places and protect religious interests.

(1). The constitution shall provide for undertakings to settle international disputes by peaceful means.

(j). There shall be a single Palestinian nationality and citizenship.

(k). The constitution shall provide for equitable participation of representatives of both communities in delegations to international conferences.


In addition to the guarantees contained in the constitution regarding the protection of and free access to holy places, there shall be set up a permanent


For a period of three years from the beginning of the transitional period, Jewish immigration shall be permitted into the Jewish state in such numbers as not {SPAN}##xceed{/SPAN} its absorptive capacity, and having due regard for the rights of the existing population within that state and their anticipated natural rate of increase. International commission, composed of three Arab, three Jewish and three United Nations representatives, shall be appointed to estimate the absorptive capacity of the Jewish state. The commission shall cease to exist at the end of the three-year period mentioned above.


The Arab area of the proposed federal state includes most of the interior of the country except for eastern Galilee and a large area of the Beersheba sub-district, which fall within the boundaries of the Jewish area. The Arabs are allotted the {SPAN}##stal{/SPAN} plain from Jaffa south to the Egyptian frontier and the western portion of the Beersheba sub-district, including Beersheba town, Asluj and Auja, and a strip along the whole length of the Egyptian frontier to the Gulf of Aqaba. Also within the Arab area, but not contiguous with the area just described, is western Galilee, bounded on the west by the Mediterranean from Acre to Ras-en-Naqra, on the north by Lebanon and including Safad to the east and Nazareth to the south.

The Jewish area is likewise not contiguous but divided into two parts. It includes the coastal plain from, but excluding, Acre on the north, to Tel Aviv, with a finger reaching southeast from Tel Aviv through Rishon-le-Zion and Rehovoth to the neighborhood of the boundaries of the Gaza and Hebron sub-districts. The ## of Esdraelon forms a bridge connecting this coastal area with the Valley of Jezreel, Beisan, Tiberias and the Huleh Valley, which are likewise allotted to the Jews. The Jewish area to the scuth includes that part of the Hebron sub-district which lies south and east of Dahariya and Yalta and a rectangular area of the Beersheba sub-district bounded on the east by the Wadi Araba and on the west by a line drawn to the east of Beersheba and Asluj and extending southward to approximately latitude 30.3 degrees.

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