Efforts to Break Deadlock on Jerusalem Issue Mark Deliberations of U.N. Body
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Efforts to Break Deadlock on Jerusalem Issue Mark Deliberations of U.N. Body

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Efforts to break the deadlock on the Jerusalem issue were made today by delegates of the Netherlands, Sweden and Uruguay at the U.N. subcommittee on Jerusalem which met all day with a view to coordinating the various proposals introduced at the U.N. Special Political Committee with regard to the status of the Holy City. (At the time the Bulletin went to press the subcommittee was scheduled to continue into a late evening session at which time it would start to vote on the various proposals.)

The representative of the Netherlands submitted a resolution calling, first, for Israel and Transjordan to “pledge themselves before the United Nations” to observe all guarantees in connection with the Holy Places and to demilitarize the area of Jerusalem. It then called for the appointment of a High Commissioner whose duties would be to supervise the safeguarding of the Holy Places throughout Palestine as well as demilitarization of the Jerusalem area. He would also have full legal and administrative powers to ensure free access to and protection of all religious sites and buildings in a specially delimited zone in Jerusalem.

Under the Netherlands plan, the full sovereignty in secular matters of Israel and Transjordan, as it now exists, would remain undisturbed. In introducing this resolution, the Dutch delegate emphasized that the Jerusalem issue had to be solved now and that he would not vote for any resolution involving postponement.

The Swedish delegate offered a proposal which provides that the General Assembly should set up a commissioner with a deputy and a 14-member council. However, the functions of this U.N. control body would be specifically limited to duties connected with the protection of and access to the Holy Places.

The representative of Uruguay, declaring it was necessary above all to avoid an outbreak in Jerusalem, introduced a working paper under which the following three “imperatives” in the situation were stressed: 1. An international status for Jerusalem to provide for free access to the Holy Places and all immunities involved in religious matters. 2. The naming of a U.N. commissioner to formulate recommendations for implementing the above. 3. An invitation to Israel and Transjordan to establish a definitive peace through demilitarization of the area.

Although Australia and the Soviet Union continued to insist on their respective resolutions, Peru switched its previous strong stand for internationalization in support of the Netherlands-Swedish-Uruguayan approach. At the same time, Lebanon presented an amendment to the Soviet amendment to the Australian resolution which calls on the Trusteeship Council to complete the preparations for a statute for Jerusalem at its next meeting, scheduled for next week, and to proceed immediately with its implementation.

Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett reminded the subcommittee that neither Lebanon nor Syria actually held any territory in Palestine and that the territory occupied by Egyptian forces in Palestine did not contain any Holy Places. Therefore, he said, it was useless for these governments to undertake the protection of the Holy Places which they did not actually control.

A group of 109 Christian ministers and laymen appealed to the U.N. on the Jerusalem issue, stating that the New City was the “natural capital of Israel.”

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