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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
14 May 1948
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

Press Release PAL/166
14 May 1948


Chronology of Major Developments

The following is a chronology of major developments in the Palestine question from the time it was laid before the United Nations by the British Government:

April 2, 1947--Secretary-General Trygve Lie received letter from Sir Alexander Cadogan asking him to place "the question of Palestine" on the agenda of the next regular session of the General Assembly. The letter also requested the Secretary-General to call a Special Session of the Assembly "as soon as possible" to appoint and instruct a special committee on Palestine.
April 28, 1947--First Special Session of the General Assembly met at Flushing Meadow.
May 15, 1947--Special Session adjourned after appointing 11-nation special committee to investigate the situation and make recommendations to the next regular session of the Assembly.
May 26, 1947--The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) held its first meeting.
June 15, 1947--UNSCOP arrived in Palestine, spent three months conducting hearings and general survey of the situation.
August 31, 1947--Report of UNSCOP officially released. Majority report (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay) recommended partition into independent Jewish and Arab states. Minority (India, Iran, Yugoslavia) recommended one federal state. Australia abstained.
September 16, 1947--Second Regular Session of the Assembly convened at Flushing Meadow with Palestine report a major item on its agenda. To deal with this matter the Assembly created an Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine in addition to its six regular main committees. After two months of consideration, Ad Hoc Palestine Committee approved and laid partition resolution before Assembly.
November 29, 1947--Assembly voted 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions, in favor of the Partition Plan.
January 9, 1948--Palestine Commission created by Assembly resolution to implement Partition Plan held its first meeting at Lake Success. Commission composed of representatives of Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Panama, Bolivia, the Philippines.
February 18, 1948--Chairman of Palestine Commission, presenting first report to Security Council, declared implementation of Partition impossible without armed force.
March 5, 1948--Security Council called upon its permanent members to consult and make recommendations for instructions to be given to Palestine Commission.
March 10, 1948--Trusteeship Council completed draft statute for City of Jerusalem but decided to defer formal approval and appointment of Governor.
March 19, 1948--Permanent members reported back to Security Council, recommended two principles: that council should make it clear that it was determined not to permit the existence of a threat to international peace; that it should take further action by all available means to bring about the immediate cessation of violence and the restoration of peace and order in Palestine.

Later on the same day: U.S. representative proposed temporary trusteeship for Palestine "without prejudice to the character of the eventual political settlement"; and asked for Council to call for immediate special session of the General Assembly.
March 30, 1948--In Security Council, U.S. introduced a) resolution calling for immediate truce in Palestine; b) resolution calling for special session of Assembly.
April 1, 1948--Security Council approved US resolutions. Secretary-General sent out call for special session of Assembly.
April 16, 1948--Second Special Session of General Assembly met in Flushing Meadows.
April 17, 1948--Security Council adopts resolution creating Truce Commission in Palestine composed of Consuls of France, Belgium and the United States.
April 20, 1948--United States Delegation introduces "working paper" on Palestine trusteeship in Political Committee.
April 21, 1948--Trusteeship Council votes to refer Jerusalem statute to General Assembly for such action as it sees fit.
April 26, 1948--Assembly voted 46 to 0 with 7 abstentions to ask Trusteeship Council to study the security situation in Jerusalem and take suitable measures for protection of the City and its inhabitants.
April 28, 1948--Trusteeship Council announces tentative agreement by Jews and Arabs to cessation of hostilities in walled City.
April 30, 1948--U.S. proposes temporary trusteeship for Jerusalem.
May 4, 1948--Political Committee sets up subcommittee (subcommittee 9) to draft a resolution on a provisional regime in Palestine as a whole.
May 5, 1948--Trusteeship Council adopts plan for selecting neutral acceptable to both sides to be Special Municipal Commissioner for Jerusalem.
May 6, 1948--General Assembly adopts plan based on Trusteeship Council report for mandatory power to name a neutral acceptable to Arabs and Jews as Special Municipal Commissioner for Jerusalem.
May 13, 1948--Appointment of Harold Evans of Philadelphia as Special Municipal Commissioner for Jerusalem is announced.

Political Committee received subcommittee reports recommending a) special provisional regime for Jerusalem under a United Nations Commissioner and b) temporary regime for Palestine as a whole under a United Nations Mediator.
May 14, 1948--General Assembly by a vote of 20 to 15 with 19 abstentions rejects resolution setting up special provisional regime for Jerusalem.

Assembly by vote of 31 to 7 with 16 abstentions approves resolution creating United Nations Mediator for Palestine. Assembly adjourns.

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