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UN GA  Resolution 303
Dec 9, 1949

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UN General Assembly resolution 303 reiterated the UN commitment to internationalization of Jerusalem, and designated it a "corpus separatum" - separate body. Under the original partition plan of 1947 (GA resolution 181), Jerusalem was to have been administered under UN sovereignty as an international city. The outbreak of hostilities immediately following the publication of the partition plan, led to division of Jerusalem into an eastern half controlled by Jordan and a western half under Israeli sovereignty. The Arabs initially rejected the internationalization of Jerusalem, and the Jewish side accepted it. By the end of the war of independence (1948 war) after the Jews had been expelled from the old city of Jerusalem, the Israeli government rejected internationalization. The UN had made virtually no effort to establish an international regime or to safeguard Arab and Jewish inhabitants. The area allotted by the UN for this international city of Jerusalem covered Jerusalem, Bethlehem and environs. Jerusalem was conquered and reunified by Israel in the 6-day war.  Despite the reality of the actual situation, the UN has never ceased to officially regard Jerusalem as a "corpus separatum." The United States does not recognize any part of Jerusalem as part of Israel, despite congressional resolutions. Both the United States and Great Britain, among others, consider that the status of Jerusalem is to be resolved by the parties to the dispute in final settlement negotiations, and in practice, ignore the UN corpus separatum resolutions.

Click here to view a map of the area set aside for this independent UN administered area, which included both Jerusalem and the Christian holy places in Bethlehem and Beit Sahur.

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    General Assembly

A/RES/303 (IV)
9 December 1949

303 (IV). Palestine: Question of an international regime for the
Jerusalem area and the protection of the Holy Places

The General Assembly,

Having regard to its resolutions 181 (II) 1/ of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) 2/ of 11 December 1948,

Having studied the reports of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine set up under the latter resolution,

I. Decides

In relation to Jerusalem,

Believing that the principles underlying its previous resolutions concerning this matter, and in particular its resolution of 29 November 1947, represent a just and equitable settlement of the question,

1. To restate, therefore, its intention that Jerusalem should be placed under a permanent international regime, which should envisage appropriate guarantees for the protection of the Holy Places, both within and outside Jerusalem, and to confirm specifically the following provisions of General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) 3/ (1) the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations; (2) the Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority ...; and (3) the City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern, Shu'fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map;4/

2. To request for this purpose that the Trusteeship Council at its next session, whether special or regular, complete the preparation of the Statute of Jerusalem,5/ omitting the now inapplicable provisions, such as articles 32 and 39, and, without prejudice to the fundamental principles of the international regime for Jerusalem set forth in General Assembly resolution 181 (II) introducing therein amendments in the direction of its greater democratization, approve the Statue, and proceed immediately with its implementation. The Trusteeship Council shall not allow any actions taken by any interested Government or Governments to divert it from adopting and implementing the Statute of Jerusalem;

II. Calls upon the States concerned to make formal undertakings, at an early date and in the light of their obligations as Members of the United Nations, that they will approach these matters with good will and be guided by the terms of the present resolution.


1/ See Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly, Resolutions, page 131.

2/ See Official Records of the third session of the General Assembly, Part I, Resolutions, page 21.

3/ See Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly, Resolutions, page 146.

4/ See annex on page 26. (This map appears as Annex B to resolution 181 (II) of the General Assembly, dated 29 November 1947.)

5/ See Official Records of the second session of the Trusteeship Council, Third Part, Annex, page 4.



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