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Jordan and Israel Differ at U.N. on Plan to Internationalize Jerusalem Holy Places

Jordan and Israel today differed at the United Nations with regard to the Swedish proposal that only the Holy Places in Jerusalem be placed under international supervision.

The representative of Jordan told the U.N. Special Political Committee that his government considers the Swedish plan unacceptable. Abba Eban, Israel’s representative, told the session that Israel supports the plan and considers it a fair and practicable solution of the issue.

In opposing the Swedish plan, the representative of Jordan said that while some points of this proposal could be accepted by his government, others threatened his country’s national integrity. The plan as a whole must therefore be rejected, he said. He concluded by stating that his government would do everything in its power to prevent the Swedish plan from being implemented.

Belgium similarly announced its opposition to the Swedish plan. The Belgian delegate said that this plan was not efficient and that its implementation would depend on a “legal peace” in Palestine. He stated he agreed with Iraq that last year’s United Nations resolution for a corpus separatum had failed only because the Trusteeship Council had not made the necessary efforts to carry out the statute. He suggested the creation of a committee of negotiation with broad terms of reference to work out a compromise solution.

The representative of Australia announced that his government is abandoning its sponsorship of the still-unimplemented resolution of last year to establish Jerusalem as a corpus separatum, and that it favors the Swedish resolution which provides that international supervision be limited to the Holy Places only.

Expressing the hope that Israel and Jordan will give “categorical assurances” on free access to the Holy Places and full cooperation with a United Nations High Commissioner for the Holy Places, the Australian delegate drew attention to the fact that the attitude of Israel and Jordan in the past “gives no cause for optimism” in respect to the carrying out of the Swedish resolution.

Sir Carl Berendsen of New Zealand said he had been “shocked” by the “irresponsibility” of the General Assembly last year in adopting a resolution to place the whole of the Jerusalem area under international trusteeship without providing for enforcement. “Had last year’s vote been a secret ballot, a very different result would have been reached,” he stated. He announced that he will support the Swedish proposal for the internationalization of the Haly Places only.

Egypt said the only solution was implementation of previous Assembly decisions. Yugoslavia supported the Swedish proposal, expressing the hope that Jordan would follow the example of Israel and accept it.

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