After WWII, Britain turned Palestine over to the United Nations, which resolved to partition the country into two states (Resolution 181-Partition Plan of 1947). Roughly 57% of Palestine was to become a Jewish state, while the remaining 43% was to become a Palestinian state. The Palestinians rejected this plan because (1) they constituted about 65% of the population and (2) Jewish land ownership amounted to only 7% of the land of Palestine. The Zionists, who were fighting to turn Palestine into a Jewish state, accepted the partition while the League of Arab States declared the partition illegal.
London Round Table conference reopens.
British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin proposes variant of Morrison-Grady Plan to London Conference and Jewish Agency. Arab delegates in London and Jewish Agency reject proposal.
Bevin announces submission of Palestine problem to United Nations.
28 April-15 May
UN General Assembly special session on Palestine problem leads to appointment of eleven-member Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP).
Publication of UNSCOP report. Majority of members recommends partition, minority recommends federal solution.
Arab League denounces UNSCOP partition recommendation, and appoints Technical Military Committee to supervise Palestinian defense needs.
Arthur Creech Jones, British colonial secretary, announces Britain’s decision to end Palestine Mandate.
Arab Higher Committee rejects partition.
Jewish Agency accepts partition.
Arab League meets at Aley, Lebanon. Iraqi General Isma’il Safwat, chairman of Technical Committee, warns of dangers posed by Zionism at end of Mandate and urges Arab states to mobilize their utmost force and efforts to counter Zionist intentions.” One million pounds sterling allocated to Technical Military Committee.
Britain says it will leave Palestine in six months if no settlement reached.
Report by Safwat warns of virtual impossibility of overcoming Zionist forces with irregulars; urges prompt Arab action in organizing military force; advocates training Palestinians to defend themselves.
UN General Assembly recommends variant of UNSCOP partition plan allocating 56.5% of Palestine to Jewish state and 43% to Arab state with international enclave around Jerusalem; 33 votes for, 13 against, 10 abstentions. Arab representatives walk out (Click here to read more why Arabs rejected the U.N. partition plan).
Keep in mind that the United Nations General Assembly Partition Plan should have been taken as a mere recommendation as the General Assembly is not a governing body (it is not International Court of Justice) and any resolution passed by them can not be legally enforced. Consider the countless resolutions they passed against Israel and their treatment of Palestinians. Why have those resolutions not been enforced as the Partition Plan was?
Haganah calls up Jews in Palestine aged 17-25 to register for military service.
Arab League organizes Arab Liberation Army (ALA), a voluntary force of Arab irregulars under guerrilla leader Fawzi al-Qawuqji to help Palestinians resist partition.
Palestinians start three-day strike protesting UN Partition Resolution. Intercommunal clashes leave 8 Jews and 6 Palestinians dead.
Britain recommends to UN that Palestine Mandate be terminated on 15 May 1948 and independent Jewish and Palestinian states be established two weeks later.
Arab League Political Committee meeting in Cairo declares partition illegal and resolves to provide 10,000 rifles, 3,000 volunteers (including 500 Palestinians) and a further 1,000,000 pounds sterling to Technical Military Committee.
British announce intention to hand over policing in Tel Aviv-Petach Tiqwa area to Jews and in Jaffa to Palestinians.
Jewish Agency Executive reports that American Jews will be asked for $250 million to help Jewish community in Palestine.
21 December-late March 1948
Haganah and IZL attack villages and Bedouin settlements of coastal plain north of Tel Aviv in first coastal “clearing” operation.
Haganah and IZL paramilitary gangs perpetrate Balad al-Shaykh (Haifa) massacre, in which more than 60 civilians are murdered.
December 1947-January 1948
Arab Higher Committee organizes 275 local committees for defense of Palestinian towns and villages.
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