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Press Release

Department of Public Information l News Coverage Service l New York

11 November 1947

Department of Public Information
Press and Publication Bureau
Lake Success, New York

18th Meeting
Press Release GA/PAL/58
11 November 1947

Convening under the chairmanship of Mr. Ksawery Pruszynski (Poland) the Sub-Committee this afternoon considered the report of the Working Group on Boundaries.

“KAREL LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) stated that the claims of the Jewish Agency tended to carve out from the territory which the UNSCOP partition plan proposed giving the Jewish State lands belonging to Arab villages while leaving these villages in the Arab State. This, said Mr. Lisicky, would give to the Jewish State the means of livelihood of the Arab population of the aforementioned villages, without responsibility of supporting this population. Mr. Lisicky added that such a step would not make for good future relations between the two States.

Continuing, Mr. Lisicky said that the claims of the Jewish Agency also tended to include in the Jewish State roads which were of greater use to the Arab than to the Jewish State.

The next speaker was MOSHE SHERTOK of the Jewish Agency, who replied to Mr. Lisicky. He said that as a whole, the UNSCOP majority report followed the procedure of not separating a village from its lands, and that while this was not always the case, it was the rule in the majority of instances.

Mr. Shertok stated that in case of Arab villages which fall within the Jewish State, he was certain the Arab villages would not be charged higher land taxes than they would pay in the Arab State.

Mr. Shertok spoke briefly on boundaries and delineations and the question of roads. He said that while under the partition plan of the Jewish Agency, 27 new villages were included in the Jewish State, 15 of those originally included under the UNSCOP partition plan were excluded, thus leaving a net addition of only 12 villages.

Chairman Pruszynski then declared the general debate closed.

SIR ALEXANDER CADOGAN) (UK) then explained that he could not speak to the Sub-Committee on the question of implementation at this time because instructions from London which he expected momentarily had hot as yet arrived. He added he hoped that the Working Group would not reach proposals which would require the United Kingdom to adopt an attitude inconsistent with those already defined by them.

The Canadian Representative, LESTER B. PEARSON, then said that Sir Alexander’s statement underlined the difficulty of the Sub-Committees and Working Group, in that, so far, both are working “in the dark” until they know the attitudes of certain governments - among them the United Kingdom - on the problem of implementation, Chairman Pruszynski then asked the Sub-Committee to study a map which showed the boundaries proposed by UNSCOP and also those proposed by the Report of the Sub-Committee’s Working Group on boundaries.

During the discussion of Point II of this Report, MR. SHERTOK explained that if the proposed Galilee reservoir should not lie wholly within the Jewish state, the whole plan of extensive irrigation might be jeopardized.

The Chairman suggested that a compromise might be made and entered as a formal proposal at the next meeting. The reservoir area as proposed by the Working Group would be in the Jewish State, but in the Arab area under the UNSCOP partition plan.

In summarizing the discussion on Point II, the Chairman said the Sub-Committee was in favor of giving the land for the reservoir to the Jewish State, but only that section necessary to future, immigration plans.

The Sub-Committee discussed and approved, in addition to Point II of the Working Paper on Boundaries, Points IV, V, VII (a) and IX.

Although each item was approved, in several cases it was noted that the Boundary Commission which will work under the United Nations Commission in Palestine, should be asked to ascertain whether there is a need for changing any of the approved boundary lines, since it was thought that-only an on-the-scene group would be in a position to judge the situation fairly.

Point IV, involving a shift westward of the point of intersection of the UNSCOP plan would facilitate Jewish irrigation plans and effect a net reduction in Arab population in the Jewish State by 2,300.

Point V, comprises an area of 48,500 dunams, including 35,000 dunams of the Gilboa mountain region and 13,500 dunams on the slopes descending to the Jordan which is suggested for addition to the Jewish State as a security measure.

Point VII (a) represents a Jewish proposal to surrender to the Arab State an area of 21,000 dunums with a population of 5,500 Arabs assigned to the Jewish State by the UNSCOP majority scheme. Mr. Shertok explained this would shorten the frontier and also relinquish an area inhabited exclusively by Arabs.

Point IX, dealing with the southern point of intersection was approved, thus enabling the Jewish State to develop water resources south of the intersection point for the whole of the Negeb without the irrigation pipes crossing the intersection point.

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 and will reconvene at 9:00 p.m.

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For information media - not an official record