November 29, 1947 – The U.N. Partitions Palestine Between Arabs and Jews

On this day in history, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution organizing Palestine into three Jewish sections, four Arab sections, and an international administration in the city of Jerusalem.


The General Assembly voted, 33-13, in favor of partition, with 10 members, including Britain, abstaining. The six Arab nations in the General Assembly refused to accept the partition and staged a walkout in protest.

The partition plan was never fully implemented, however. On May 14, 1948, the day on which the British Mandate over Palestine expired, the Jewish leadership approved a proclamation declaring “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” The next day, a military coalition of Arab states and Palestinian Arab forces invaded the new country.

Rather than the U.N. partition then, it was the armistice agreements following the war that defined the boundaries of the state of Israel. Israel, the war’s victor, kept nearly all the area that had been recommended by the U.N. and also took control of almost 60% of the area allocated to the proposed Arab state. The West Bank was annexed to Jordan and the Gaza Strip remained under Egyptian administration until 1967. An Arab state was not established.



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