Jerusalem's status has remained indeterminate since the approval of the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in November 1947. Following the 1948 war, the US acknowledged de facto Israeli and Jordanian control in their respective sectors of Jerusalem, but refused to recognize Western Jerusalem as Israel's capital. After Israel captured the Old City during the 1967 Six Day War, the question of the city's status became a focus of US and British concern. The two states formulated a variety of proposals regarding the future of the city and the holy places. In the end, however, they realized that no agreed formula could be found, and therefore they refrained from taking a clear stand on the issue and did not offer the UN and the belligerents a comprehensive plan.
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Under the sixth proposal, Israel would retain control over West Jerusalem and the international community would recognize its sovereignty. The Old City and the immediate surrounding high ground, such as the Mount of Olives, would be made an international zone under a UN administration subject to the UN Trusteeship Council, along the lines laid out in the General Assembly resolution of 1949. Free access to the Old City would be guaranteed. Jordan and Israel would each maintain tourist facilities in its own territory, outside the Old City, and thus benefit financially from pilgrimages. The international administration would be funded by local taxation and/or international funds. In its favour, this solution went farther than any of the others in answering both Arab and Israeli wishes, and met the requirements of international religious communities as well. To its detriment, Israel would oppose such an arrangement; the expense would be formidable; and the difficulties involved in administering a divided city would remain. Free access from either side would be hard for either of the parties to accept for security reasons.37
- Arab-Israeli conflict
- United States
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Political Science and International Relations