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General Assembly

10 January 1948

(Working Paper Prepared by the Secretariat)

1. The plan adopted by the Assembly contains the following provision respecting the land regulations (Paragraph B-5 of Part I):
2. This section refers to the Land Transfers Regulations, passed in February 1940 to give effect to the British policy established by the so-called White Paper of May 1939.

According to the Land Transfers Regulations, as quoted from "A Survey of Palestine", Vol. I, page 261, Palestine was divided into three zones as follows:
Zone `A': 16,680 square kilometres
Zone `B': 8,348 " "
'Free' Zone: 1,292 " "
Total 26,320

"Broadly, zone `A' includes the hill country as a whole, together with certain areas in the Jaffa sub-District and in the Gaza District including the northern part of Beersheba sub-District; it is in this zone that transfers to persons other than Palestinian Arabs is prohibited, save in exceptional circumstances for which provision is made under the Regulations. Zone `B' includes the plains of Esdraelon and Jezreel; eastern Galilee; a stretch of the coastal plain south of Haifa; an area in the north-east of the Gaza District; and the southern part of the Beersheba sub-District. Transfers in zone `B' are permitted subject to certain conditions announced when the Regulations were promulgated. These were that transfers by a Palestinian Arab to "a person other than a Palestinian Arab would not ordinarily be granted unless the transfer could be shown to be either:
"The `free' zone includes the Haifa Bay area; the greater part of the coastal plain; an area south of Jaffa, the Jerusalem town planning area, and all municipal areas."

3. According to the Assembly resolution the Provisional Councils of Government will have authority in these matters and it is to be expected that the Provisional Council of Government in the Jewish State will propose the immediate abolition of these regulations. As the Provisional Councils are acting "under the Commission", the Commission should be aware of the possible effects of such a measure, the implementation of which will require skillful handling during the transitional period so as not to provoke unnecessary resentment in the Arab population.

4. In this connection it may be worth mentioning that the "Jewish National Fund" (Keren Kayemeth Leisrael Ltd.), the land holdings of which amount to more than 600,000 metric dunums throughout Palestine, is prohibited by its statutes from selling any land, as all property is to be held in trust for the Jewish people.

5. It may also be mentioned that a special provision regarding expropriation of land shall be included in the Declaration to be made to the United Nations by the Provisional Government of each proposed state (Part I, section B, chapter 2, paragraph 8). This provision, as adopted by the Assembly, reads as follows:

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