Questions to the Jewish Authorities in Palestine


The following is an excerpt of the letter dated 18 May 1948 from the assistant Secretary-General for Security Council affairs addressed to the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and reply dated 22 May 1948 by the Provisional State Council and the Provisional Government of the State of Israel addressed to the Secretary-General concerning the questions submitted by the Security Council
S/766 22 May 1948. The UN Security Council is keenly aware of the territorial boundaries of the new State of Israel, and that territory outside those boundaries remains the territory of Palestine.

QUESTIONS TO THE JEWISH AUTHORITIES IN PALESTINE

(a) Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at the present time?

(b) Do you have armed forces operating in areas (towns, cities, districts) of Palestine where the Arabs are the majority, or outside Palestine?

REPLIES OF PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL TO SECURITY COUNCIL QUESTIONNAIRE

Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947. [ref: UNGA Res. 181 Partition Plan] In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.

Question (b): Do you have armed forces operating in areas (towns, cities, districts) of Palestine where the Arabs are the majority, or outside Palestine?

Answer to Question (b): We consider the territory of Israel as a single unit with a Jewish majority. As indicated above, the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israel; parts which, with the notable exception of Jerusalem, formerly for the most part, contained Arab majorities. These areas have, however, been mostly abandoned by their Arab population. No area outside of Palestine is under Jewish occupation but sallies beyond the frontiers of the State of Israel have occasionally been carried out by Jewish forces for imperative military reasons, and as a part of an essentially defensive plan.