(Partition Plan of Palestine)

  1. Summary
  2. Full text of the resolution
  3. Position of the members of the European Union in 1947
  4. Map



To solve the problem of the future of Palestine which was under British mandate, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided in its Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947 to divide the territory of Palestine as follows:

  • A Jewish State covering 56,47% of Mandatory Palestine (excluding Jerusalem) with a population of 498,000 Jews and 325,000 Arabs;
  • An Arab State covering 43.53% of Palestine, with 807,000 Arab inhabitants and 10,000 Jewish inhabitants;
  • An international trusteeship regime in Jerusalem, where the population was 100,000 Jews and 105,000 Arabs.

The partition plan also laid down:

  • the guarantee of the rights of minorities and religious rights, including free access to and the preservation of Holy Places;
  • the constitution of an Economic Union between the two states: custom union, joint monetary system, joint administration of main services, equal access to water and energy resources, …

The General Assembly also planned:

  • a two month interim period beginning August 1, 1948, date of expiry of the mandate when the British troops were to be evacuated, with a zone including a port to be evacuated in the territory of the Jewish State by 1st February;
  • a five-country Commission (Bolivia, Denmark, Panama, Philippines, Czechoslovakia) in charge of the administration of the regions evacuated by Great Britain, of establishing the frontiers of the two states and of setting up in each of them a Provisional Council of Government; the gradual take-over of the administration by the Provisional Council of Government in both States, and the organization of democratic elections for a Constituent Assembly within two months.


« Recommending a Partition Plan for Palestine:


The General Assembly,

Having met in special session at the request of the mandatory power to constitute and instruct a Special Committee to prepare for the consideration of the question of the future government of Palestine at the second regular session;

Having constituted a Special Committee and instructed it to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine, and to prepare proposals for the solution of the problem, and

Having received and examined the report of the Special Committee (document A/364) including a number of unanimous recommendations and a plan of partition with economic union approved by the majority of the Special Committee,

Considers that the present situation in Palestine is one which is likely to impair the general welfare and friendly relations among nations;

Takes note of the declaration by the mandatory power that it plans to complete its evacuation of Palestine by 1 august 1948;

Recommends to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory power for Palestine, and to all other members of the United Nations the adaptation and implementing, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the plan of partition with economic union set out below;

Requests that:

(a) The Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation;

(b) The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the transitional period require such consideration, whether the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to peace. If it decides that such a threat exists, and in order to maintain the international peace and security, the Security Council should supplement the authorization of the General Assembly by taking measures under articles 39 and 41 of the charter, to empower the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by this resolution;

(c) The Security Council determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution;

(d) The Trusteeship Council be informed of the responsibilities envisaged for it in this plan;

Calls upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put this plan into effect;

Appeals to all governments and all peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations, and

Authorizes the Secretary General to reimburse travel and subsistence appropriate in the circumstances, and to provide the Commission with the necessary staff to assist in carrying out the functions assigned to the Commission by the General Assembly.


The General Assembly,

Authorizes the Secretary General to draw from the working capital fund a sum not to exceed $2,000,000 for the purposes set forth in the last paragraph of the resolution on the future government of Palestine. »

Adopted by 33 votes in favour, 13 against and 10 abstentions.