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Jerusalem Declared Israel-Occupied City, Government Proclamation

Official Gazette, No. 12, (August 2, 1948)

From March until June 1948, Jerusalem was besieged by Arab irregulars and the Jordanian Arab Legion from the north, west and east; Egyptian troops attempted to break through from the southern approaches. The Old City fell on 28 May. In June, at the cost of many casualties, Israel finally succeeded in re-establishing a link with the city and lifted the siege. On 26 July, the United Nations Mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte, visited Jerusalem and conferred there with Foreign Minister Sharett. He suggested the demilitarisation of Jerusalem. On 2 August, the Government of Israel rejected the suggestion and decided to declare the Jerusalem area under its control as Israel-occupied territory. Dr. Dov Joseph was appointed Military Governor. Text of the Government proclamation:


Israel Defence Forces Administration in Jerusalem Proclamation No. 1

Whereas the area of Jerusalem, including most of the city, part of its environment and western approaches, is held by the Defence Army of Israel which is under my authority; and whereas the Defence Army of Israel is duty bound to maintain in the administered area public safety and security and to preserve law and order;

Therefore I, David Ben-Gurion, Minister of Defence, hereby proclaim on behalf of the General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces to wit:

1. The term "administered area" means the area including most of the city of Jerusalem, part of its environs and western approaches and the roads linking Jerusalem with the coastal plain, all within the area marked by a red line in the map of the Land of Israel signed by me bearing today's date, 26 Tamuz 5708 (2 August 1948) or in any other map which will replace it and will be signed by me and similarly marked.

2. The law of the State of Israel prevails in the administered area.

3. The inhabitants of the administered area are hereby called upon to maintain the public peace and its economic system, and to assist the Defence Army of Israel as required. Whoever violates any of my directives will be tried before a military tribunal which will be established with my knowledge or before a civil court, as the case may require.

4. This proclamation will be made public in channels which I will deem most effective.

5. This proclamation will be valid for all intents and purposes from midnight, 6 Iyar 5708 (15 May 1948); however, regarding the territory whose parts have come under the administration of the Defence Army of Israel after that date, this proclamation will be valid only from that time.


David Ben-Gurion
Minister of Defence

Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs