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Encyclopedia > UN General Assembly Resolution 194

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 [1] was passed on December 11, 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The resolution expresses appreciation for the efforts of UN Envoy Folke Bernadotte after his assassination by members of the Zionist paramilitary group Lehi. It deals with the situation in the region of Palestine at the time, establishing and defining the role of the United Nations Conciliation Commission as an organization to facilitate peace in the region. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity. ... List of the UN resolutions concerning Israel and Palestine: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir commissioned an analysis of UN voting concerning Israel. ... December 11 is the 345th day (346th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Combatants  Israel Egypt Syria Transjordan  Lebanon Iraq Holy War Army Arab Liberation Army Commanders Yaakov Dori Yigael Yadin Glubb Pasha Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni† Hasan Salama Fawzi al-Qawuqji Strength 29,677 initially–108,300 by December 1948 Egypt: 10,000 initially rising to 20,000 Iraq: 5,000... Count Folke Bernadotte of Wisborg (January 2, 1895 - September 17, 1948), or simply Count Bernadotte, was a Swedish diplomat noted for his negotiation of the release of 15,000 mostly Scandinavian prisoners [1] from the German concentration camps in World War II and for his assassination by members of a... Lehi refers to: Lehi, a prophet in the Book of Mormon Lehi, a city in Utah Lehi, a Zionist paramilitary group in Palestine/Israel Lehi, a location in southwest Palestine/Israel Lehi, a traditionally Mormon agricultural neighborhood in northern Mesa, Arizona This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid... The Holy Land or Palestine Showing not only the Old Kingoms of Judea and Israel but also the 12 Tribes Distinctly, and Confirming Even the Diversity of the Locations of their Ancient Positions and Doing So as the Holy Scriptures Indicate, a geographic map from the studio of Tobiae Conradi... The UN Conciliation Commission was set up by UN General Assembly Resolution 194, in order to conclude the 1948 Arab-Israeli War in the region of Palestine. ...

The resolution consists of 15 articles, the most quoted of which are:

  • Article 11: calls for the return of refugees
  • Article 7: protection and free access to the Holy Places
  • Article 8: demilitarization and UN control over Jerusalem
  • Article 9: free access to Jerusalem

Unlike Security Council Resolutions under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, UN General Assembly Resolutions have only a recommendatory character. A United Nations Security Council Resolution is voted on by the fifteen members of the UN Security Council. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


International reception and interpretation

Many of its articles have been largely ignored by all involved parties to this day. Because of its charged nature, there were multiple reactions to the resolution and there is still more than one popular interpretation.

The acceptance of the Resolution was given as the condition for Israel's acceptance into the United Nations. Thus, it is not surprising that it was quickly accepted by the leadership of the new state. The exact means and timing of enforcement of the resolution, however, were disputed from the beginning (see #Application below). Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen, on the other hand, all voted against the resolution.[citation needed]

Since the late 1960s, Article 11 has been increasingly quoted by those who interpret it as a basis for the "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees. Israel has always contested this reading, pointing out that the text merely states that the refugees "should be permitted" to return to their homes at the "earliest practicable date" and this recommendation applies only to those "wishing to... live at peace with their neighbors". [2] In particular, the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, insisted in an interview with the members of the Conciliations Commission that while Israel could not count on the dedication of any Arab refugees to remain "at peace with their neighbors"--which he contended depended explicitly on the Arab states' unwillingness to remain at peace with the state of Israel--resettlement was not an obligation for Israel. Progress Report of the Conciliations Commission, 23 October 1950, III:9 Adherents to this line of reasoning sometimes also raise the question of a large number of displaced Jews--usually quoted between 750,000 and 850,000--who could potentially qualify as refugees to which Resolution 194 would then be noted to apply (see Jewish exodus from Arab lands). Very few outside of Israel subscribe to this interpretation, however. The term Right of return reflects a belief that members of an ethnic or national group have a right to immigration and naturalization into the country that they, the country, or both consider to be that groups homeland, without prior personal citizenship in that country. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Jewish exodus from Arab lands refers to the 20th century emigration of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from majority Arab lands. ...


Israel invited 100,000 refugees to Israel in 1948 as a "good faith" gesture to start peace talks with her Arab neighbors. However, this proposal was rejected by Arab states.[citation needed] They argued that doing so would constitute recognition of Israel, something they refused to allow. They consequently did not allow Arabs out of the refugee camps within their borders either to go to Israel or to assimilate into their own populations.

Israel has furthermore provided compensation to many Arabs who can prove they lost property during the wars with Israel. However, far more Arabs claim to have lost property than can prove it or that seem plausible given land records. British and Turkish land records both report that Palestinian Arabs only owned approximately 6% of all the land in Palestine as private property.[citation needed]

Full text

The General Assembly,

Having considered further the situation in Palestine,

1. Expresses its deep appreciation of the progress achieved through the good offices of the late United Nations Mediator in promoting a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine, for which cause he sacrificed his life; and extends its thanks to the Acting Mediator and his staff for their continued efforts and devotion to duty in Palestine;

2. Establishes a Conciliation Commission consisting of three States Members of the United Nations which shall have the following functions:

(a) To assume, in so far as it considers necessary in existing circumstances, the functions given to the United Nations Mediator on Palestine by resolution 186 (S-2) of the General Assembly of 14 May 1948; May 14 is the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (135th in leap years). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

(b) To carry out the specific functions and directives given to it by the present resolution and such additional functions and directives as may be given to it by the General Assembly or by the Security Council;

(c) To undertake, upon the request of the Security Council, any of the functions now assigned to the United Nations Mediator on Palestine or to the United Nations Truce Commission by resolutions of the Security Council; upon such request to the Conciliation Commission by the Security Council with respect to all the remaining functions of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine under Security Council resolutions, the office of the Mediator shall be terminated;

3. Decides that a Committee of the Assembly, consisting of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, shall present, before the end of the first part of the present session of the General Assembly, for the approval of the Assembly, a proposal concerning the names of the three States which will constitute the Conciliation Commission;

4. Requests the Commission to begin its functions at once, with a view to the establishment of contact between the parties themselves and the Commission at the earliest possible date;

5. Calls upon the Governments and authorities concerned to extend the scope of the negotiations provided for in the Security Council's resolution of 16 November 1948 and to seek agreement by negotiations conducted either with the Conciliation Commission or directly with a view to the final settlement of all questions outstanding between them; November 16 is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 45 days remaining. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

6. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to take steps to assist the Government and authorities concerned to achieve a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them;

7. Resolves that the Holy Places - including Nazareth - religious buildings and sites in Palestine should be protected and free access to them assured, in accordance with existing rights and historical practice that arrangements to this end should be under effective United Nations supervision; that the United Nations Conciliation Commission, in presenting to the fourth regular session of the General Assembly its detailed proposal for a permanent international regime for the territory of Jerusalem, should include recommendations concerning the Holy Places in that territory; that with regard to the Holy Places in the rest of Palestine the Commission should call upon the political authorities of the areas concerned to give appropriate formal guarantees as to the protection of the Holy Places and access to them; and that these undertakings should be presented to the General Assembly for approval;

8. Resolves that, in view of its association with three world religions, the Jerusalem area, including 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, should be accorded special and separate treatment from the rest of Palestine and should be placed under effective United Nations control; Abu Dis is a Palistinian city near Jerusalem in the West Bank. ... Bethlehem (Arabic بيت لحم house of meat; Standard Hebrew בית לחם house of bread, Bet léḥem / Bet láḥem; Tiberian Hebrew Bêṯ léḥem / Bêṯ lāḥem; Greek: Βηθλεέμ) is a city in the West Bank under Palestinian Authority considered a central hub of Palestinian cultural and tourism industries. ... Ain Karim (Arabic: عين كارم Hebrew עין כרם) (literally, Spring of the Vineyard) is an artisan village 7. ... Shuafat was a wealthy Arab village to the northeast of Jerusalem, which became after six day war in 1967 part of municipalital area of Jerusalem and therefore a neigbourhood under full Israeli (not military) control. ...

Requests the Security Council to take further steps to ensure the demilitarization of Jerusalem at the earliest possible date;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to present to the fourth regular session of the General Assembly detailed proposals for a permanent international regime for the Jerusalem area which will provide for the maximum local autonomy for distinctive groups consistent with the special international status of the Jerusalem area;

The Conciliation Commission is authorized to appoint a United Nations representative who shall cooperate with the local authorities with respect to the interim administration of the Jerusalem area;

9. Resolves that, pending agreement on more detailed arrangements among the Governments and authorities concerned, the freest possible access to Jerusalem by road, rail or air should be accorded to all inhabitants of Palestine;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to report immediately to the Security Council, for appropriate action by that organ, any attempt by any party to impede such access;

10. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to seek arrangements among the Governments and authorities concerned which will facilitate the economic development of the area, including arrangements for access to ports and airfields and the use of transportation and communication facilities;

11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;

12. Authorizes the Conciliation Commission to appoint such subsidiary bodies and to employ such technical experts, acting under its authority, as it may find necessary for the effective discharge of its functions and responsibilities under the present resolution;

The Conciliation Commission will have its official headquarters at Jerusalem. The authorities responsible for maintaining order in Jerusalem will be responsible for taking all measures necessary to ensure the security of the Commission. The Secretary-General will provide a limited number of guards for the protection of the staff and premises of the Commission;

13. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to render progress reports periodically to the Secretary-General for transmission to the Security Council and to the Members of the United Nations;

14. Calls upon all Governments and authorities concerned to cooperate with the Conciliation Commission and to take all possible steps to assist in the implementation of the present resolution;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary staff and facilities and to make appropriate arrangements to provide the necessary funds required in carrying out the terms of the present resolution.

See also

In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a Palestinian refugee is a refugee from Palestine created by the Palestinian Exodus, which Palestinians call the Nakba (نكبة, meaning disaster). History Most of the refugees had already fled by the time the neighboring Arab states intervened on the side of Palestinians...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
United Nations (976 words)
The subsequent American clarification of Resolution 338, which was the basis of Israel’s agreement to a cease-fire, established that the term "negotiation between the parties" means direct negotiations and that all agreements and maps that result from these direct negotiations be determined by agreement between the negotiating parties.
This non-binding resolution, passed by the UN General Assembly in December 1948, usually is cited with reference to the refugee issue.
While UN General Assembly Resolution 194 calls for those "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors" to be able to do so, this would implicitly necessitate that the returning refugees recognize the new political realities – the creation of the State of Israel.
  More results at FactBites »



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