Action Guide

United Nations Partition Plan 1947 (UN Resolution 181)

Following the British announcement that it would end its authority over Palestine, the question of sovereignty was considered by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). The UNSCOP report recommended the division of the British Mandate-controlled area of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem to be an “international” city. According to the plan, the two states, roughly equal in size and natural resources, would cooperate on major economic issues, sharing their currency, roads, and government services over the territory.

The Zionist leadership reluctantly accepted the partition plan, as it offered at least two of their requirements — sovereignty and control over immigration. The Palestinian Arabs and the surrounding Arab nations rejected it outright, refusing to accept the establishment of a Jewish state in the region.

In UN Resolution 181, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted to approve the partition plan November 29, 1947 by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.