Arab Committee Rejects U.N. Partition Plan Map: Public Domain

September 29, 1947

The Arab Higher Committee for Palestine formally rejects the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine’s partition plan, which advocates for the division of the land into a separate Jewish and Arab states and an international zone around Jerusalem.

At the request of the United Kingdom, which holds a mandate from the League of Nations to administer Palestine, the United Nations creates UNSCOP early in 1947 to make impartial recommendations for the disposition of the region. The committee on Sept. 3 releases its plan, which calls for an almost even split of the land and natural resources.

The Jewish Agency accepts the proposal before the official Arab rejection. The vice president of the Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Husseini, tells the committee, however, that Palestine’s Arabs will oppose with all means possible any scheme to partition the land or give the Jews any preference. Husseini says that the Jewish connection to the land ended 2,000 years ago and that the Jews are conducting an invasion. He also says the Balfour Declaration contradicts the League of Nations Covenant, even though the League adopted the Balfour language in creating the mandate for Palestine.

With U.S. and Soviet support, the U.N. General Assembly approves the partition plan Nov. 29, 1947, and Israel declares its independence May 14, 1948.