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Israel Delegation Rejects Australian Plan for Internationalization of Jerusalem

The Israel delegation at the United Nations today rejected an Australian proposal calling for the complete internationalization of Jerusalem under the terms of the 1947 partition decision. The Australian proposal was placed before the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee this week-end. The Committee is expected to begin its debate on the issue this week.

“The people of Jerusalem are not likely to accept a plan which disrupts all their institutions and severs their connections” with the only government which provided them with security in the face of Arab attack, the Israel delegation said in its statement. It warned against any attempt to return to the 1947 decision. It pointed out that such an attempt would introduce further confusion which might adversely affect the future of the Holy Places. It emphasized that the Israel delegation would continue to urge the Assembly to “accept a realistic and effective plan to ensure U.N. supervision of the city’s Holy Places.”

The Australian proposal calls for the continuation of the present Conciliation Commission with powers to bring its proposal for a U.N. regime in Jerusalem in line with the more drastic decision of 1947. Under this plan, the Commission is to proceed to Jerusalem and may begin to set up the administrative machinery at once until its new plan can be approved by the 1950 Assembly. The Australian resolution also calls upon all states to cooperate with the Commission “with good will” and to be guided by the terms of this resolution.

Meanwhile, the Arab bloc has drafted its own resolution for the immediate internationalization of Jerusalem as per the 1947 formula, calling for the complete demilitarization of the city, a separate enclave in Palestine to be set up under an Assembly-appointed governor-general and supported by an international force of 3,000 armed men to be recruited proportionately from the forces of all member states. One provision in the Arab resolution, supported by all Arab states except Iraq and Jordan, would meet resistance to the U.N. by placing the city under the direct protection of the Security Council.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General Trygve Lie has received a cable from the Foreign Minister of Transjordan, Ruhi Abdul Hadi, protesting against alleged maltreatment and expulsion of Arab inhabitants across armistice demarkation lines in the Beersheba area. The cable states that on November 7 “Israelis expelled 2,000 men, women and children from the Beersheba area into the Arab sector” and that in the process “they were severely maltreated, their homes destroyed, and their cattle, sheep and belongings looted.”

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