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Britain Grants De Jure Recognition to Israel; Recognizes Annexation of Arab Palestine

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Britain today officially accorded de jure recognition to Israel. At the same time, it recognized the annexation by Transjordan of the Arab part of Palestine.

A formal announcement to this effect was made in the House of Commons by Kenneth Younger, Minister of State. He said that Britain’s recognition of the annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan does not apply to the part of Jerusalem held by the Arab Legion, in view of the fact that the status of Jerusalem has not as yet been settled by the United Nations.

With regart to Britain’s recognition of Isael, the Minister of State said that the British Government was unable to recognize the sovereignty of the Jewish state over that part of Jerusalem administered by Israel pending a final determination of the status of the city. Similar reservations, he declared, were made on Israel’s boundaries with the Arab states.

The British Minister told Parliament that Britain will not establish military bases in peace time in the parts of Arab Palestine annexed by Transjordan, although the agreement existing between Britain and Transjordan provides for the establishment of such bases in any part of Transjordan.

Emphasizing that the British Government considers for the time being the armistice line as the boundary between Israel and the Arab states, Minister Younger said that while not recognizing the sovereignty of Israel over the Jewish part of Jerusalem, it recognizes the de facto authority of the Israel Government in Jerusalem.

“In announcing these two acts of recognition,” the British Minister said, “His Majesty’s Government wishs to reaffirm its conviction that the problem of Palestine is capable of solution by peaceful means, given goodwill and understanding on the part of all authorities concerned. It is the earnest hope of His Majesty’s Government that the steps it has now taken will help create stability in the areas concerned, and will, therefore, make a contribution to peace in the Middle East as a whole.”

CHURCHILL ASKS BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO BRING WEIZMANN AND ABDULLAH TOGETHER

Winston Churchill, welcoming the announcement by the British Minister, told the members of Commos that President Chaim Weizmann of Israel and King Abdullah of Transjordan have always been staunch friends of Great Britain. He urged the British Government to bring these two “eminent men” into closer harmonious contact. He asked whether the British Government is embarking on such a course.

Replying to the question, Mr. Younger said that he was glad to associate himself with Mr. Churchill’s remark about Dr. Weizmann and King Abdullah. He revealed that the british Government will attempt to bring the head of the Jewish state and the ruler of Transjordan into contact. He expressed the hope that the action announced today will help solve the outstanding problems between Israel and the Arab states.

Britain’s decisions were communicated today to Israel and Transjordan by her diplomatic representatives in Tel Aviv and Amman. The six other Arab governments who are members of the Arab League were similarly informed today by Britain of its decision to extend de jure recognition to Israel and recognize the annexation by Transjordan of the Arab part of Palestine. The United States, France, and Turkey–as members of the U.N. Palestine Conciliation Commission–were also informed of the British decision through the British Embassies in those countries.

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