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        Security Council
10 July 1967


COUNCIL 10 July 1967



1. The General Assembly, in operative paragraph 3 of its resolution 2253 (ES-V) adopted on 4 July 1967, requested the Secretary-General “to report to the General Assembly and the Security Council on the situation and on the implementation of the present resolution not later than one week from its adoption”.

2. In a letter dated 5 July addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, the Secretary-General requested the Minister to draw the above-mentioned resolution to the attention of his Government as a matter of urgency.

3. On 10 July the Secretary-General received the following reply from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, transmitted by the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations:

“I have the honour to transmit to you the following reply from the Minister for Foreign Affairs to your letter of 5 July 1967:

‘Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

Artillery bombardment was directed against synagogues, the Church of Dormition, hospitals, centres of secular and religious learning, the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum. Intensive fire was directed against institutions and residential centres from positions in and near the Holy Places themselves, which were thus converted into military positions for shelling Jerusalem.

Since 7 June, the entire City of Jerusalem has experienced peace and unity. The Holy Places of all faiths have been open to access by those who hold them sacred.

The resolution presented on 4 July by Pakistan and adopted on the same date evidently refers to measures taken by the Government of Israel on 27 June 1967. The term “annexation” used by supporters of the resolution is out of place. The measures adopted relate to the integration of Jerusalem in the administrative and municipal spheres, and furnish a legal basis for the protection of the Holy Places in Jerusalem.

I now come to specify the character and effect of the measures adopted on 27 June:

(1) The Holy Places

One of the most sifnificant results of the measures taken on 27 June is the new mingling of Arabs and Jews in free and constant association. The Arab residents within the walls had been cut off for nineteen years from all contact with the residents of the newer parts of the City. Today they are free to renew or initiate contacts with their Jewish neighbours in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel. The residents of the City outside the walls now visit the Old City. There is a profound human and spiritual significance in the replacement of embattled hostility by normal and good neighbourly relations. It is especially appropriate that ecumenical habits of thought and action should take root in the City from which the enduring message of human brotherhood was proclaimed with undying power in generations past.
The universal interest

The measures taken by my Government to secure the protection of the Holy Places are only a part of Israel’s effort to ensure respect for universal interests in Jerusalem. It is evident from United Nations discussions and documents that the international interest in Jerusalem has always been understood to derive from the presence of the Holy Places. Israel does not doubt her own will and capacity to secure the respect of universal spiritual interests. It has forthwith ensured that the Holy Places of Judaism, Christianity and Islam be administered under the responsibility of the religions which hold them sacred. In addition, in a spirit of concern for historic and spiritual traditions, my Government has taken steps with a view to reaching arrangements to assure the universal character of the Holy Places. In pursuance of this objective, the Government of Israel has now embarked on a constructive and detailed dialogue with representatives of universal religious interests. If these explorations are as fruitful as we hope and expect, the universal character of the Holy Places will for the first time in recent decades find effective expression.

The changes which have affected Jerusalem’s life and destiny as a result of the measures recently adopted may therefore be summarised as follows:

Where there was hostile separation, there is now harmonious civic union. Where there was a constant threat of violence, there is now peace. Where there was once an assertion of exclusive and unilateral control over the Holy Places, exercised in sacrilegious discrimination, there is now a willingness to work out arrangements with the world’s religious bodies - Christian, Muslim and Jewish - which will ensure the universal religious character of the Holy Places.

The Government of Israel is confident that world opinion will welcome the new prospect of seeing this ancient and historic metropolis thrive in unity, peace and spiritual elevation.

Please accept, Mr. Secretary-General, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Abba Eban
Minister for Foreign Affairs’

“Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

“(Signed) Gideon RAFAEL
Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations”


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