United Nations Special Committee on Palestine Report/Chapter VI

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United Nations Special Committee on Palestine  (1947)  by United Nations
Chapter VI

Chapter VI contain a majority plan for the future government of Palestine, including provisions for boundaries.



1. The Committee, sitting informally as a means of facilitating its deliberations on specific proposals, informally set up two small working groups to explore specific proposals with regard to a plan of partition involving economic union. One of these groups was known as the Working Group on Constitutional Matters; the other was the Working Group on Boundaries.

2. The Working Group on Constitutional Matters (Mr. Sandstorm, Mr. Blom, Mr. Granados, and Mr. Rand), in a series of informal meetings formulated a plan of partition with provisions for economic unity and constitutional guarantees. This plan was subsequently discussed and completed in joint discussions of these two working groups.

3. In the course of the forty-seventh meeting of the Committee on 27 August 1947, seven members of the Committee (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay), expressed themselves, by recorded vote, in favour of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union, presented by the Working Group on Constitutional Matters.

4. The Plan of Partition with Economic Union is herewith reproduced.

It consists of the following three parts:

Part I. Partition with economic union Part II. Boundaries Part III. City of Jerusalem

PART I. Plan of partition with economic union justification

1. The basic premise underlying the partition proposal is that the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews, both possessing validity, are irreconcilable, and that among all of the solutions advanced, partition will provide the most realistic and practicable settlement, and is the most likely to afford a workable basis for meeting in part the claims and national aspirations of both parties.

2. it is a fact that both of these peoples have their historic roots in Palestine, and that both make vital contributions to the economic and cultural life of the country. The partition solution takes these considerations fully into account.

3. The basic conflict in Palestine is a clash of two intense nationalisms. Regardless of the historic origins of the conflict, the rights and wrongs of the promises and counter promises and the international intervention incident to the Mandate, there are now in Palestine some 650,000 Jews and some 1,200,000 Arabs who are dissimilar in their ways of living and, for the time being, separated by political interests which render difficult full and effective political cooperation among them, whether voluntary or induced by constitutional arrangements.

4. Only by means of partition can these conflicting national aspirations find substantial expression and qualify both peoples to take their places as independent nations in the international community and in the United Nations.

5. The partition solution provides that finality which is a most urgent need in the solution. Every other proposed solution would tend to induce the two parties to seek modification in their favour by means of persistent pressure. The grant of independence to both States, however, would remove the basis for such efforts.

6. Partition is based on a realistic appraisal of the actual Arab-Jewish relations in Palestine. Full political co-operation would be indispensable to the effective functioning of any single-State scheme, such as the federal State I proposal, except in those cases which frankly envisage either an Arab or a Jewish-dominated State.

7. Partition is the only means available by which political and economic responsibility can be placed squarely on both Arabs and Jews, with the prospective result that, confronted with responsibility for bearing fully the consequences of their own actions, a new and important element of political amelioration would be introduced. In the proposed federal-State solution, this factor would be lacking.

8. Jewish immigration is the central issue in Palestine today and is the one factor, above all others, that rules out the necessary co-operation between the Arab and Jewish communities in a single State. The creation of a Jewish State under a partition scheme is the only hope of removing this issue from the arena of conflict.

9. It is recognized that partition has been strongly opposed by Arabs, but it is felt that that opposition would be lessened by a solution which definitively fixes the extent of territory to be allotted to the Jews with its implicit limitation on immigration. The fact that the solution carries the sanction of the United Nations involves a finality which should allay Arab fears of further expansion of the Jewish State.

10. In view of the limited area and resources of Palestine, it is essential that, to the extent feasible, and consistent with the creation of two independent States, the economic unity of the country should be preserved. The partition proposal, therefore, is a qualified partition, subject to such measures and limitations as are considered essential to the future economic and social well-being of both States. Since the economic self-interest of each State would be vitally involved, it is believed that the minimum measure of economic unity is possible, where that of political unity is not.

11. Such economic unity requires the creation of an economic association by means of a treaty between the two States. The essential objectives of this association would be a common customs system, a common currency and the maintenance of a country-wide system of transport and communications.

12. The maintenance of existing standards of social services in all parts of Palestine depends partly upon the preservation of economic unity, and this is a main consideration underlying the provisions for an economic union as part of the partition scheme. Partition, however, necessarily changes to some extent the fiscal situation in such a manner that, at any rate during the early years of its existence, a partitioned Arab State in Palestine would have some difficulty in raising sufficient revenue to keep up its present standards of public services.

One of the aims of the economic union, therefore, is to distribute surplus revenue to support such standards. It is recommended that the division of the surplus revenue, after certain charges and percentage of surplus to be paid to the City of Jerusalem are met, should be in equal proportions to the two States. This is an arbitrary proportion but it is considered that it would be acceptable, that it has the merit of simplicity and that, being fixed in this manner, it would be less likely to become a matter of immediate controversy. Provisions are suggested whereby this formula is to be reviewed.

13. This division of customs revenue is justified on three grounds: (1) The Jews will have the more economically developed part of the country embracing practically the whole of the citrus-producing area which includes a large number of Arab producers; (2) the Jewish State would, through the customs union, be guaranteed a larger free trade area for the sale of the products of its industry; (3) it would be to the disadvantage of the Jewish State if the Arab State should 'be in a financially precarious and poor economic condition.

14. As the Arab State will not be in a position to undertake considerable development expenditure, sympathetic consideration should be given to its claims for assistance from international institutions in the way of loans for expansion of education, public health not other vital social services of a non-self-supporting nature.

15. International financial assistance would also be required for any comprehensive irrigation schemes in the interest of both States, and it is to be hoped that constructive work by the Joint Economic Board will be made possible by means of international loans on favourable terms.


A. Partition and independence

1. Palestine within its present borders, following a transitional period of two years from 1 September 1947, shall be constituted into an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem, the boundaries of which are respectively described in Parts II and III below.

2. Independence shall be granted to each State upon its request only after it has adopted a constitution complying with the provisions of section B, paragraph 4 below, has made to the United Nations a declaration containing certain guarantees, and has signed a treaty creating the Economic Union of Palestine and establishing a system of collaboration between the two States and the City of Jerusalem.

B. Transitional period and constitution

1. During the transitional period, the present mandatory Power shall:

(a) Carry on the administration of the territory of Palestine under the auspices of the United Nations and on such conditions and under such supervision as may be agreed upon 'between the United Kingdom and the United Nations, and if so desired, with the assistance of one or more Members of the United Nations;

(b) Take such preparatory steps as may be necessary for the execution of the scheme recommended;

(c) Carry out the following measures:

(1) Admit into the borders of the proposed Jewish State 150,000 Jewish immigrants at a uniform monthly rate, 30,000 of whom are to be admitted on humanitarian grounds. Should the transitional period continue for more than two years, Jewish immigration shall be allowed at the rate of 60,000 per year. The responsibility for the selection and care of Jewish immigrants and for the organizing of Jewish immigration during the transitional period shall be placed in the Jewish Agency.

(2) The restrictions introduced by land regulations issued by the Palestinian Administration under the authority of the Palestine (Amendment) Order-in-Council of 25 May 1939 shall not apply to the transfer of land within the borders of the proposed Jewish State.

2. Constituent assemblies shall be elected by the populations of the areas which are to comprise the Arab and Jewish States, respectively. The electoral provisions shall be prescribed by the Power administering the territory. Qualified voters for each State for this election shall be persons over twenty years of age who are: (a) Palestinian citizens residing in that State and (b) 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 may not and be elected to the constituent assemblies.

3. During the transitional period, no Jew shall be permitted to establish residence in the area of the proposed Arab State, and no Arab shall be permitted to establish residence in the area of the proposed Jewish State, except by special leave of the Administration.

4. The constituent assemblies shall draw up the constitutions of the States, which shall embody chapters 1 and 2 of the Declaration provided for in C. below, and include inter alia, provisions for:

(a) Establishing in each State 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.

(b) Settling all international disputes in which the State may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

(c) Accepting the obligation of the State to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or' political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

(d) Guaranteeing to all persons equal and non-discriminatory rights in civil, political and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religious worship, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association.

(e) Preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents and citizens of the other State in Palestine and the City of Jerusalem, subject to security considerations; provided that each State shall control residence within its borders.

(f) Recognize the rights of the Governor of the City of Jerusalem to determine whether the provisions of the constitution of the States in relation to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites within the borders of the States and the religious rights appertaining thereto, are being properly applied and respected, and to make decisions in cases of disputes which may arise with respect to such Holy Places, buildings and sites; also accord to him full co-operation and such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of his functions in those States.

5. The constituent assembly in each State shall appoint a provisional government empowered to make the Declaration and sign the Treaty of Economic Union, provided for in C. and D. below.

On making the Declaration and signing the Treaty of Economic Union by either State, and upon approval by the General Assembly of the United Nations of such instruments as being in compliance with these recommendations, its independence as a sovereign State shall be recognized.

If only one State fulfils the foregoing conditions, that fact shall forthwith be communicated to the United Nations for such action by its General Assembly as it may deem proper. Pending such action, the regime of Economic Union as recommended shall apply.

C. Declaration

A Declaration shall be made to the United Nations by the Provisional Government of each proposed State before the interim administration is brought to an end. It shall contain inter alia the following clauses:

General provision

The stipulations contained in the Declaration are recognized as fundamental laws of the State and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them.


Holy Places, religious building and sites

1. Existing rights in respect of Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall not be denied or impaired.

2. Free access to the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites and the free exercise of worship shall be secured in conformity with existing rights and subject to the requirements of public order and decorum.

3. Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall be preserved. No act shall be permitted which may in any way impair their sacred character. If at any time it appears to the Government that any particular Holy Place, religious building or site is in need of urgent repair, the Government shall call upon the community or communities concerned to carry out such repair. The Government may carry it out itself at the expense of the community or communities concerned if no action is taken within a reasonable time.

4. No taxation shall be levied in respect of any Holy Place, religious building or site which was exempt from taxation on the date of the creation of the State.

5. The Governor of the City of Jerusalem shall have the right to determine whether the provisions of the Constitution of the State in relation to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites within the borders of the State and the religious rights appertaining thereto, are being properly applied and respected, and to make decisions in cases of disputes which may arise with respect to such Places, buildings, and sites. He shall receive full co-operation and such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of his functions in the State.


Religion and minority rights

1. Freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, shall be ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion or language.

2. The family law and personal status of the various minorities and their religious interests, including endowments, shall be respected.

3. Except as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government, no measure shall be taken to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of religious or eleemosynary bodies of any faith or to discriminate against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.

4. The State shall ensure adequate primary and secondary education for the Arab and Jewish minority, respectively, in its own language and its cultural traditions.

The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the State may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.

5. No restriction shall be imposed on the free use by any citizen of the State of any language in private intercourse, in commerce, in religion, in the press or in publications of any kind, or at public meetings.161/

6. No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State)162/ shall be allowed except for public purposes unless the land, suitable for agricultural purposes, has remained uncultivated and unused for not less than one year after written notice of utilization thereof has been given;

and upon an order made by the Supreme Court of the respective State approving the expropriation on the grounds of absence of sufficient reasons for the nonutilization thereof. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court, shall be paid previous to dispossession.


1. Citizenship. Palestinian citizens, as well as Arabs and Jews who, not holding Palestinian citizenship, reside in Palestine, shall, upon the recognition of independence, become citizens of the State in which they are resident; or, if resident in the City of Jerusalem, who sign a notice of intention provided in section B, paragraph 2 above, of the State mentioned in such notice, with full civil and political rights, provided that they do not exercise the option mentioned hereafter. Such persons, if over eighteen years of age, may opt within one year for the citizenship of the other State or declare that they retain the citizenship of any State of which they are citizens, and if they exercise this option it will be taken to include their wives and children under eighteen years of age; provided that no person who has signed the notice of intention referred to in section B, paragraph 2 above shall have the right of option.

2. International Conventions. The State shall be bound by all the international agreements and conventions, both general and special, to which Palestine has become a party. Subject to any right of denunciation provided for therein, such agreements and conventions shall be respected by the State throughout the period for which they were concluded.

3. Financial Obligations. The State shall, until its independence is recognized, respect and fulfill all financial obligations of whatever nature assumed on behalf of Palestine by the mandatory Power, including the rights of public servants to pensions, compensation or gratuities, to be negotiated where necessary with the Government of the United Kingdom.

Commercial concessions heretofore granted in respect of any part of Palestine shall continue to be valid according to their terms, unless modified by agreement between the parties.


1. The provisions of Chapters 1 and 2 of this Declaration shall be under the guarantee of the United Nations, and no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Any Member of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the General Assembly any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these stipulations, and the General Assembly may thereupon make such recommendations as it may deem proper in the circumstances.

2. Any dispute relating to the application or the interpretation of this Declaration shall be referred, at the request of either Party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the Parties agree to another mode of settlement. .

D, Economic union

A treaty shall be entered into between the two States and signed simultaneously with the Declaration provided for in C. above. The treaty shall be binding at once without ratifications. It shall contain provisions to establish the Economic Union of Palestine and to provide for other matters of common interest.

1. The Economic Union of Palestine

The objectives of the Economic Union of Palestine shall be:

(a) A customs union. (b) A common currency. (c) Operation in the common interest of railways, interstate highways, postal, telephone and telegraphic services; and the ports of Haifa and Jaffa.

(d) Joint economic development, especially in respect of irrigation, land reclamation and soil conservation.

There shall be established a Joint Economic Board, which shall consist of /three representatives of each of the two States and three foreign members appointed by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in the first instance for a term of three years.

The functions of the Joint Economic Board shall be to organize and administer, either directly or by delegation, the functions of the Economic Union.

The States shall bind themselves to put into effect the decisions of the Joint Economic Board. The Board's decisions shall be taken by a majority vote.

In relation to economic development, the functions of the Board shall be the planning, investigation and encouragement of joint development projects, but it shall not undertake such projects except with the assent of both States and the City of Jerusalem.

There shall be a common customs tariff with complete freedom-of trade between the States and the City of Jerusalem.

The tariff schedules shall be drawn up by a Tariff Commission consisting of representatives of each of the States in equal numbers. In case of disagreement or failure to approve any tariff schedule by a date to be, fixed, the matter shall be settled by the arbitration of the Joint Economic Board.

The following items shall be a first charge on the customs revenue:

(a) The expenses of the customs service; (b) The administrative expenses of the Joint Economic Board; (c) The financial obligations of the Administration of Palestine consisting of: (i) the service of the outstanding public debt, (ii) the cost of superannuation benefits, now being paid or falling due in the future.

After these obligations have been met in full, the surplus revenue from the customs and other common services shall be divided in the following manner: not less than 5 per cent and not more than 10 per cent to the City of Jerusalem, and the residue in equal proportion to-the Jewish and Arab States. After a period of three years, the division shall be reviewable by the Joint Economic Board, which shall make such modifications as may be deemed necessary.

All international conventions and treaties affecting customs tariffs, communications and commercial matters generally, shall be entered into by both States.

2. Freedom of transit and visit

The Treaty shall contain provisions preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents or citizens of both States and of the City of Jerusalem, subject to security considerations;

provided that each State and the City shall control residence within their borders.

3. Termination, modification and interpretation of the Treaty

The Treaty shall remain in force for a period of ten years. It shall continue in force until notice of termination, to take effect two years thereafter, is given by either of the Parties and such termination is assented to by the General Assembly of the United Nations.163/

During the initial ten-year period, the Treaty may not be modified except by consent of both Parties and with the approval of the General Assembly.164/

Any dispute relating to the application or the interpretation of the Treaty shall be referred, at the request of either Party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the Parties agree to another mode of settlement.

E. Assets

The movable assets of the Administration of Palestine shall be allocated to the Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem on an equitable basis. Immovable assets shall become the property of the government in the territory of which they are situated.

F. Admission to membership in the United Nations

Upon the recognition of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States, respectively, sympathetic consideration should be given to their application for admission to membership in the United Nations, in accordance with Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.


The primary objectives sought in the foregoing scheme are, in short, political division and economic unity: to confer upon each group, Arab and Jew, in its own territory, the power to make its own laws, while preserving ^o both, throughout Palestine, a single integrated economy, admittedly essential to the well-being of each, and the same territorial freedom of movement to individuals as is enjoyed today. The former necessitates a territorial partition; the latter, the maintenance of unrestricted commercial relations between the States, together with a common administration of functions in which the interests of both are in fact inextricably bound together.

The territorial division with the investment of full political power in each State achieves, in turn, the desire of each for statehood and, at the same time, creates a self-operating control of immigration. Although free passage between the States for all residents is provided, each State retains exclusive authority over the acquisition of residence and this, with its control over land, will enable it to preserve the integrity of its social organization.

The Economic Union is to be administered by a Joint Economic Board, in the composition of which a parity of interest in the two States is recognized by equal representation from them. But in relation to such necessary and convenient services, day-to-day rulings are imperative; and since in the present circumstances it cannot be expected that in joint matters they would easily agree, the principle of arbitral decision is introduced by adding to the Board three independent outside persons to be chosen by the United Nations. It is obvious that, while such a device is an accepted mode of adjusting economic disputes, it would be unacceptable as a general method of making political decisions. This limits, therefore, the functions with which the Board can be clothed and confines them to such neutral services as communications or to a function which, though carrying a political quality, is dictated by the necessities of the overriding interest of unity.

In these respects the scheme may be contrasted with that of the federal State presented by three members of the Committee. In the later, paramount political power, including control over immigration, is vested at the centre; but the attempt to introduce parity through equal representation in one chamber of the legislature is nullified by the predominance of Arab majority influence in the ultimate decision. But even were an independent element to be introduced, the administration would break down because of the wide political field in which it would operate. If that field were reduced to the subjects dealt with by the Board under the Economic Union scheme, apart from "the question of majority determination, the difference in substance between the two plans would lie in the failure of the federal scheme to satisfy the aspirations of both groups for independence.

The Arab State will organize the substantial majority of Arabs in Palestine into a political body containing an insignificant minority of Jews; but in the Jewish State there will be a considerable minority of Arabs. That is the demerit of the scheme. But such a minority is inevitable in any feasible plan which does not place the whole of Palestine under the present majority of the Arabs. One cannot disregard the specific purpose of the Mandate and its implications nor the existing conditions, and the safeguarding of political, civil and cultural rights provided by the scheme are as ample as can be devised.

But in the larger view, here are the sole remaining representatives of the Semitic race. They are in the land in which that race was cradled. There are no fundamental incompatibilities between them. The scheme satisfies the deepest aspiration of both: independence. There is a considerable body of opinion in both groups which seeks the course of cooperation. Despite, then, the drawback of the Arab minority, the setting is one from which, with good will and a spirit of cooperation, may arise a rebirth, in historical surroundings, of the genius of each people. The massive contribution made by them throughout the centuries in religious and ethical conceptions, in philosophy, and in the entire intellectual sphere, should excite among the leaders a mutual respect and a pride in their common origin.

The Jews bring to the land the social dynamism and scientific method of the West; the Arabs confront them with individualism and intuitive understanding of life. Here then, in this close association, through the natural emulation of each other, can be evolved a synthesis of the two civilizations, preserving, at the same time, their fundamental characteristics. In each State, the native genius will have a scope and opportunity to evolve into its highest cultural forms and to attain its greatest reaches of mind and spirit. In the case of the Jews, that is really the condition of survival. Palestine will remain one land in which Semitic ideals may pass into realization.

At the same time there is secured, through the constitutional position of Jerusalem and the Holy Places, the preservation of the scenes of events in which the sentiments of Christendom also centre. There will thus be imposed over the whole land an unobjectionable interest of the adherents of all three religions throughout the world; and so secured, this unique and historical land may at last cease to be the arena of human strife.

Whether, however, these are vain speculations must await the future. If they are never realized, it will not, it is believed, be because of defects in the machinery of government that is proposed.

PART II. Boundaries


The plan envisages the division of Palestine into three parts: an Arab State, a Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem. The proposed Arab State will include Western Galilee, the hill country of Samaria 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 Galilee, the Esdraelon plain, most of the coastal plain, and the whole of the Beersheba subdistrict, which includes the Negeb.

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 south-east of Afula in the sub-district of Nazareth and the other north-east of El Majdal in the sub-district of Gaza.

The Arab State

Western Galilee is bounded on the west by the Mediterranean and in the north by the frontier of the Lebanon from Ras en Naqura to Qadas; on the east the boundary starting from Qadas passes southwards, west of Safad to the south-western 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 southwards to the point of intersection south-east of Afula mentioned above. The south-western 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 south-east of Beisan follows the northern boundary of the Samaria district westwards to the point of intersection south-east of Afula, thence again westwards to Lajjun, thence in a south-western direction, passing just west of Tulkarm, east of Qalqilia and west of Majdal Yaba, thence bulging westwards towards Rishon-le-Zion so as to include Lydda and Ramie in the Arab State, thence turning again eastwards to a point west of Latrun, thereafter following the northern side of the Latrun-Majdal road to the second point of intersection, thence south-eastwards to a point on the Hebron sub-district boundary south of Qubeiba, thence following the southern boundary of the Hebron sub-district to the Dead Sea.

The Arab section of the coastal plain runs from a .point a few miles north of Isdud to the Egyptian frontier, extending inland approximately eight kilometres.

The Jewish State

The north-eastern sector of the proposed Jewish State (Eastern Galilee) will have frontiers with the Lebanon in the north and west and with Syria and Transjordan 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 north-west 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-Aviv 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, runs south-eastwards to a point on the Hebron sub-district boundary south of Qubeiba, and thence follows the southern boundary of the Hebron sub-district to the Dead Sea.

The City of Jerusalem

The boundaries of the City of Jerusalem are as defined in the recommendations on the City of Jerusalem.


In making its proposal for a plan of partition with economic union for Palestine, the members of the Committee supporting this plan are fully aware of the many difficulties of effecting a satisfactory division of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab State. The main problems to be faced are the following:

1. The problem of minorities

The central inland area of Palestine includes a large Arab population and, leaving Jerusalem out of account, practically no Jews. This obviously is the main starting point in demarcating a possible Arab State. Further north, particularly in Western Galilee, and separated from the central area by a narrow belt of Jewish settlements, is another concentration of Arabs and very few Jews. These two areas form the main territory of an Arab State which has only a very small minority of Jews.

The Jewish State, on the other hand, has its centre and starting point in the coastal plain between Haifa and Tel Aviv and even in this area there is also a considerable number of Arabs. Extensions of this area in the most suitable directions to include a larger number of Jews as well as a larger land area, increase the proportion of Arabs to Jews in the Jewish State.

2. The problem of viability

The creation of two viable States is considered essential to a partition scheme.

3. The problem of development

A partition scheme for Palestine must take into account both the claims of the Jews to receive immigrants and the needs of the Arab population, which is increasing rapidly by natural means. Thus, as far as possible, both partitioned States must leave some room for further land settlement.

4. The problem of contiguity

It is obviously desirable to create States with continuous frontiers. Due to geographic and demographic factors, it is impossible to make a satisfactory partition without sacrificing this objective to some extent.

5. Access to the sea for the Arab State

Even within the scheme for economic union, this is considered to be important for psychological as well as material reasons.

In solving this complex of problems, a compromise is necessary and in suggesting the boundaries upon which this partition scheme rests all these matters have been given serious consideration so that the solution finally reached appears to be the least unsatisfactory from most points of view.

The figures given for the distribution of the settled population in the two proposed States, as estimated on the basis of official figures up to the end of 1946, are approximately as follows: 166/

Jews Arabs and others total The Jewish State 498,000 407,000 905,000 The Arab State 10,000 725,000 735,000 City of Jerusalem 100,000 105,000 205,000

In addition there will be in the Jewish State about 90,000 Bedouins, cultivators and stock owners who seek grazing further afield in dry seasons.

The proposed Jewish State leaves considerable room for further development and land settlement and, in meeting this need to the extent that it has been met in these proposals, a very substantial minority of Arabs is included in the Jewish State. On the other hand. Western Galilee is attributed to the Arab State, providing it with some areas for further development and also giving it an outlet to the sea at the town of Acre. An outlet to the sea is also provided in the south by the inclusion of Gaza in the Arab State.

Nearly all previous attempts to draw partition maps for Palestine have been faced with the separation of the solid Arab population in Judea and Samaria from the Arab population in Galilee. To include the whole of Galilee in a Jewish State provides contiguous frontiers, but it also results in the inclusion of the large Arab population of Western Galilee in the Jewish State and weakens the Arab State economically and politically by denying to it a developed Arab area. In the present partition scheme, these problems have been solved, by a definition of boundaries which provides two important links, one between Western Galilee and Samaria and one in the south near Gaza. These links are at suitable meeting places of the frontiers, and would consist of a small unbuilt area which would be a condominium. By this means it has been possible to include Western Galilee in the Arab State without the disadvantage of its being separated at all points from Samaria by the territory of the Jewish State.

The inclusion of the whole Becrsheba sub-district in the Jewish State gives to it a large area, parts at which are very sparsely populated and capable of development, if they can be provided with water for irrigation. The experiments already carried out in this area by the Jews suggest that further development in an appreciable degree should be possible by heavy investment of capital and labour and without impairing the future or prejudicing the rights of the existing Bedouin population. The Negeb south of latitude 31, though included in the Jewish State, is desert land of little agricultural value, but is naturally linked with the northern part of the sub-district of Beersheba.

Jaffa, which has an Arab population of about 70,000, is entirely Arab except for two Jewish quarters. It is contiguous with Tel Aviv and would either have to be treated as an enclave or else be included in the Jewish State. On balance, and having in mind the difficulties which an enclave involves, not least from the economic point at view, it was thought better to suggest that Jaffa be included in the Jewish State, on the assumption that it would have a large measure of local autonomy and that the port would be under the administration of the Economic Union.


On certain assumptions it may be possible in a given case to calculate roughly the order of magnitude of the loss or gain of revenue which an area might experience as a result of partition. Similar estimates might be made of expenditures necessary to maintain existing standards of social services and other normal budget expenditures, and a comparison of the two sets of figures would throw some light on the ability of the State in question to maintain these standards without large budget deficits. It should, of course, be made quite clear that this would not be in any sense a measure of an actual budgetary position, but merely a general indication of the probability of the viability or non-viability of the area under consideration.

In the case of the plan for the partition of Palestine recommended in this report, as well as in the case of all previous partition plans which have been suggested, it is the viability of the Arab State that is in doubt. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the proposed Arab State from this point of view as carefully as conditions permit. Until the proposed boundaries are precisely defined, however, it would not be possible to assemble accurate information 'regarding the area. Therefore, in order to get a preliminary idea of the viability, as we have defined it, of the proposed Arab State a calculation was made in respect of the areas which it had been proposed should become Arab provinces in the provincial autonomy plan elaborated by the. Government of the United Kingdom in 1946. Fairly complete statistics were available in regard to this particular plan of partition. As it happens, though the partition proposed by the members of this Committee differs in some very important respects from the provincial autonomy plan of the British Government, the area of the proposed Arab State is not very different in the two cases and, in regard to, actual resources, the differences are not very marked. The most important difference is in respect of the town of Jaffa, which in the British plan is part of the Arab State and in the present plan is part of the Jewish State. The estimated total population of the Arab States in the two cases is as follows:

British provincial autonomy plan 830,000 Committee's proposed plan 730,000

The difference is mainly accounted for by the town of Jaffa, which has about 70,000 Arabs. Apart from the town of Jaffa, there are no important differences in economic resources of the Arab areas in the two plans.

The calculation has been made as follows. The budget estimates of the Palestine Administration for the year 1947-1948 both as regards revenue and expenditure have been taken as the sole basis of the calculation. Assuming the boundaries of the British scheme mentioned above, the expenditures have been partitioned between the State on a population basis. Some expenditure has been reserved to a central body, on the assumption that a customs union would be set up and that certain obligations for public debt and pensions would be met as charges on surplus revenue. Apart from this and a few small items, all the expenditure of the present Administration has been hypothetically divided among the States. This procedure is open to the objection that, in fact, in a partitioned State the items of expenditure might be different. This is true, but it must be remembered that it cannot be known how such States would develop their policy, and our present assumption is that the same standard of public services is maintained. Actually there would be some increase in overhead expenditure in providing the same services in a partitioned Palestine, since partitioning would involve some duplication of administration. The difference on this account might not be very great, however.

No expenditure has been allocated to defence since the costs of external defence are at present borne by the British Government, and since expenditure for internal security, which is £.P.1 7,000,000 in the present estimates, has been added to the expenditures of the States in the present calculation.

The estimates of revenue for the year 1947-1948 have, with the exception of customs revenue and net income from the Currency Board, Posts and Telegraph, etc., been attributed to the two States on a territorial basis. In respect of land tax, animal tax, and about 75 per cent of income tax, it is possible, on the basis of figures supplied by the Palestine Government, to make this division fairly accurately. In other cases, it has been necessary to use an arbitrary assumption that the revenue would be in proportion to the population.

The summary results of this calculation are as follows:

Jewish State £. P.167/

Revenue (apart from customs) . . 4,878,000
Expenditure .............. .... 8,418,000
Deficit ..................... ... 3,540,000
Arab State
Revenue (apart from customs) . . 1,560,000
Expenditure .................. 9,324,000
Deficit .. ...................... 7,764,000
City of Jerusalem
Revenue (apart from customs) . . 1,098,000
Expenditure .. ................ 3,004,000
Deficit ........................ 1,906,000
Combined deficit .............. 13,210,000

Net revenue of customs and other
joint services........ .........11,996,000

The net revenue of joint services is available for distribution between the two States and the City of Jerusalem but falls short of the combined deficits by just over one and one-quarter million pounds. This, however, is not important in the present discussion since it is merely the consequence of basing the calculations on the actual estimates of the present Palestine Administration. It should be noted that in the present administration budget there are expenditures of £.P. 7,000,000 on police and security and about £.P. 2,000,000 on subsidies designed to keep the cost of living down. Police expenditure should certainly be substantially reduced in the event of a settlement of the Palestine problem, and it is also possible that some saving could be made in regard to food subsidies since the necessity for them would be less in an Arab State which would contain a large number of self-sufficient cultivators and relatively few industrial wage-earners. In this case the expenditure attributed to the Arab State on this basis might be capable of reduction by as much as £.P. 3,000,000. Reductions on police expenditure should, of course, also be possible for the other two areas. On the side of revenue, it is possible that income tax yields could be increased in the area of the proposed Arab State.

It is in the light of these consideration? that the members of the Committee, in proposing their partition scheme with economic union, have made their particular recommendations for the distribution of the customs revenue. By this means the members of the Committee supporting the partition plan believe that the viability of the Arab State could be reasonably assured.

The Committee is satisfied that, in the sense defined, the proposed Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem would be viable.

PART III. City of Jerusalem


1. The proposal to place the City of Jerusalem under international trusteeship is based on the following considerations.

2. Jerusalem is a Holy City for three faiths. Their shrines are side by side; some are sacred to two faiths. Hundreds of millions of Christians, Moslems and Jews throughput the world want peace, and especially religious peace, to reign in Jerusalem; they want the sacred character of its Holy Places to be preserved and access to them guaranteed to pilgrims from abroad.

3. The history of Jerusalem, during the Ottoman regime as under the Mandate, shows that religious peace has been maintained in the City because the Government was anxious and had the power to prevent controversies involving some religious interest from developing into bitter strife and disorder. The Government was not intimately involved in local politics, and could, when necessary, arbitrate conflicts.

4. Religious peace in Jerusalem is necessary for the maintenance of peace in the Arab and in the Jewish States. Disturbances in the Holy City would have far-reaching consequences, extending perhaps beyond the frontiers of Palestine.

5. The application of the provisions relating to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in the whole of Palestine would also be greatly facilitated by the setting up of an international authority in Jerusalem. The Governor of the City would be empowered to supervise the application of such provisions and to arbitrate conflicts in respect of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites.

6. The International Trusteeship System is proposed as the most suitable instrument for meeting the special problems presented by Jerusalem, for the reason that the Trusteeship Council, as a principal organ of the United Nations, affords a convenient and effective means of ensuring both the desired international supervision and the political, economic and social well-being of the population of Jerusalem.


1. The City of Jerusalem shall be placed under an International Trusteeship System by means of a Trusteeship Agreement which shall designate the United Nations as the Administering Authority, in accordance with Article 81 of the Charter of the United Nations.

2. The City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which to be Abu Dir; the most southern Bethlehem; the most western Ein Karim and the most northern Shu'fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map.

3. The Trusteeship Agreement in respect of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites, and minorities, shall contain provisions similar to those contained in chapters 1 and 2 of the Declaration in the Plan of Partition with Economic Union. It shall also include, inter alia, the provisions set forth below:

(a) The City of Jerusalem shall be demilitarized, its neutrality shall be declared and preserved, and no paramilitary formations, exercises or activities shall be permitted within its borders.

(b) Persons residing in the City of Jerusalem, without distinction as to ethnic origin, sex, language or religion, shall be ensured protection under its laws with regard to the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of worship, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association.

(c) Residents of the City of Jerusalem, irrespective of nationality, may participate in the local elections of the City. They shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the City in respect of taxation and judicial proceedings.

(d) A Governor of the City of Jerusalem shall be appointed by the Trusteeship Council. He shall be neither Arab nor Jew nor a citizen of the Palestine States nor, at the time of appointment, a resident of the City of Jerusalem.

(e) In addition to the Governor, there shall be such other executive, legislative and judicial organs, bodies and offices for governing the City as may be determined in the Trusteeship Agreement.

(f) The Governor, as chief administrative official of the City, shall be responsible, in such manner as the Trusteeship Agreement shall prescribe, for the conduct of the administration of the City. With relation to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in any part of Palestine, other than the City of Jerusalem, he shall determine whether the provisions of the constitution of the Arab and Jewish States in Palestine dealing therewith and the religious rights appertaining thereto are being properly applied and respected. The protection of all such places, buildings and sites located in the City of Jerusalem shall be a special concern of his office. He shall also be empowered to make decisions on the basis of existing rights in cases of disputes which may arise between the different communities in respect of such Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in any part of Palestine.

(g) Should the administration of the City of Jerusalem be seriously obstructed or prevented by the noncooperation or interference of one or more sections of the population, the Governor shall have authority to take such measures as may be necessary to restore the effective functioning of the administration.

(h) The City of Jerusalem shall guarantee free transit and visit to residents of the Arab and Jewish States in Palestine, subject only to security considerations.

(i) 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 of Palestine and shall be neither Arab nor Jew. The Governor shall be empowered to direct such budgetary provision as may be necessary for the maintenance of this special force.

(j) The City of Jerusalem should be included in the economic Union of Palestine.

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