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        General Assembly
25 November 1949


Fourth session


Israel: Draft resolution

The General Assembly,

Recalling its successive resolutions which expressed the concern of the United Nations in Jerusalem by reason of the presence therein of Holy Places, religious buildings and sites;

Noting that the Declaration of Independence of Israel of 14 May 1948, provides for the protection of the Holy Places of all religions;

Desiring to maintain the existing rights in the Holy Places, and in particular those rights and practices in force 14 May 1948, and thus to give effective and practical expression to that concern;

Resolves therefore:

(a) to authorize the Secretary-General to sign on behalf of the United Nations an agreement (as attached) with the State of Israel relating to the supervision and protection of the Holy Places in Jerusalem,

(b) to request the Secretary-General to report to the Fifth Regular Session on progress made with respect to the signature and implementation of this agreement.

(a) The expression “The Holy Places” means those places, buildings and sites in Jerusalem which were recognized on 14 May 1948 as Holy Places and any other places, buildings or sites which may subsequently be considered as such by agreement between the parties;

(b) The expression “United Nations” means the international organization established by the Charter of the United Nations;

(c) The expression “Secretary-General” mans the Secretary-General of the United Nations;

(d) The expression “Jerusalem” means the part of Jerusalem now under Israel control.

Section 2

The parties shall establish by mutual agreement a detailed list indicating what were the Holy Places, in Jerusalem on 14 may 1948 for the purposes of this Agreement, and in the same way may amend such list by additions or by deletions.



Section 3

The free exercise in Jerusalem of all forms of worship in accordance with the rights in force on 14 May 1948, subject to the maintenance of public order and decorum, shall be guaranteed by law and effectively secured by administrative practice in conformity with the Declaration of Independence of Israel



Section 4

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

The Government of Israel shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the amenities of the Holy Places in Jerusalem and their immediate precincts are not prejudiced.



Section 6

No form of racial or religious discrimination shall be permitted with respect to the rights of visit and access to any of the Holy Places, except insofar as the performance of certain religious rites and ceremonies may require the exclusion from them of the adherents of other faiths during the performance of such religious rites and ceremonies.

Section 7

Subject only to requirements of national security , public order and decorum, health, liberty of access, visit and transit to the Holy Places in Jerusalem shall be accorded to all persons without distinction in respect of nationality in conformity with the rights in force on 14 May 1948.

Section 8

The Secretary-General and the government of Israel shall, at the request of either of them, consult as to methods of facilitating entrance into Israel, and the use of available means of transportation, by persons coming from abroad who wish to visit the Holy Places. This shall not prevent the Government of Israel from making suitable arrangements directly or with other States for any of these purposes.

Section 9

Nothing in this Agreement shall affect in any way the application of laws and regulations from time to time in force in Israel regarding the entry of aliens, or to confer any right of entry into Israel otherwise than in accordance with such laws and regulations, or any modifications thereof, and with the terms of any international obligations assumed by Israel in this regard.



Section 10

(a) The Government of Israel shall exercise due diligence to ensure that the sacred character of the Holy Places in Jerusalem are not disturbed by the unauthorized entry of groups of persons from outside or by disturbances, and shall cause to be provided such police protection as is required for these purposes.

(b) If the Secretary-General is of opinion that additional police protection is required for any of the Holy Places in Jerusalem, or for any area of Jerusalem in which a number of Holy Places are situated within a reasonable degree of propinquity, he may request the Government of Israel to increase the number of policemen regularly stationed for the protection of such Holy Places or area.



Section 11

(a) The law of Israel including regulations and by-laws made by the local authorities shall apply to and within the Holy Places in Jerusalem.

(b) The Israel courts shall have jurisdiction over acts done and transactions taking place within the precincts of the Holy Places.



Section 12

The government of Israel will exercise the powers which it possesses to ensure, at the request of the Secretary-General, that the Holy Places shall be supplied on equitable terms with the necessary public services, including electricity, water, gas, post, telegraph, transportation, drainage, collection of refuse, fire protection, etc. In case of any interruption or threatened interruption of any such services, the Government of Israel will consider the needs of the Holy Places to the tented practicable, and subject to the requirements of security and the maintenance of essential services and supplies.

Section 13

Nothing in this Agreement shall be interpreted as restricting the rights of the Government of Israel or any local authority, or any of their agencies or sub-divisions, officials or employees, with regard to entry into any Holy Place in Jerusalem for the purpose of enabling them to inspect, repair, maintain, reconstruct and relocate utilities, conduits, mains and sewers, which may run over, through, or under such Holy Place, religious building or site.



Section 14

No form of taxation shall be levied in respect of any Holy Place in Jerusalem which was exempt from such taxation on 14 May 1948. No change in the incidence of any form of taxation shall be made which would discriminate between the owners and occupiers of Holy Places, religious buildings or sites in Jerusalem, or would place such owners and occupiers in a position less favourable in relation to the general incidence of that form of taxation than existed on 14 May 1948.



Section 15

The secretary-General and the Government of Israel shall settle by agreement the channels through which they communicate regarding the application of the provisions of this Agreement and other questions affecting the Holy Places in Jerusalem, and may enter into such supplemental agreements as may be necessary to fulfill the purpose of this Agreement.

Section 16

Israel hereby agrees that if the Secretary-General so requests he may appoint and send a representative to Israel to exercise the rights and duties conferred upon the United Nations by this Agreement. In making such appointment the Secretary-General Shall have due regard for the accepted international custom relating to the appointment of diplomatic representatives. Such representative may establish his headquarters in Jerusalem or in some other place agreed between him and by the Government of Israel, and shall be accredited to the President of Israel. For the duration of his mission the convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 13 February 946, as acceded to by Israel, shall be applicable to him as well as to his staff and to the building or buildings he occupies, all as is more particularly laid down in the said Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, it being understood that nothing in this Agreement shall imply the extension of the provisions of the said convention to any Holy Place.

Section 17

The functions of the representative of the Secretary-General shall be limited to matters pertaining to the application and implementation of this Agreement; in particular it is understood that nothing shall authorize the United Nations or the Secretary-General or his representative, to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the State of Israel; or shall require the Government of Israel to submit any such matters to settlement under the Charter of the United Nations or under this Agreement.



Section 18

Any dispute between the United Nations and Israel concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement, or of any supplemental agreement, including any dispute as to whether any place in Jerusalem was recognized on 14 May 1948 as a Holy Place which is not settled by negotiation, or other agreed mode of settlement, shall be referred for final decision to a tribunal of three arbitrators, one to be named by the Secretary-General, one to be named by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, and the third to be chosen by the two, or if they should fail to agree upon a third, then by the President of the International Court of Justice.

Section 19

Subject to the provisions of section 10, where any dispute concerning a Holy Place, religious building or site in Jerusalem arises between two or more religious communities, or sections of communities, such dispute shall, in the first instance, be referred to the government of Israel which may, in reaching its decision seek the guidance of the United Nations. If the decision of the government of Israel does not settle the dispute, then either Israel or the Secretary-General my refer the matter to the General Assembly.



Section 20

This Agreement shall be construed in the light of its primary purpose to ensure protection of the Holy Places in Jerusalem, which is desirable, in view of the special character of Jerusalem, whose soil is consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of the adherents of three great religions.

Section 21

This Agreement shall be brought into effect by an exchange of notes between the Secretary-General, duly authorized pursuant to a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and the appropriate executive officer of Israel, duly authorized pursuant to appropriate action of the Knesseth.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the respective representatives have signed this Agreement and have affixed their seals hereunto.

DONE in duplicate, in the English, French, Spanish and Hebrew languages, all authentic, at Lake Success, this ……………day of ……in the year one thousand nine hundred and …….

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