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Text of the Bernadotte Plan

(June 28, 1948)

[Here follows Part I, the introductory statement, in which the [UN] Mediator [Folke Bernadotte] interpreted his role “not as one involving the handing down of decisions on the future situation in Palestine, but as one of offering suggestions on the basis of which further discussions might take place and possibly counter-suggestions be put forth looking toward a peaceful settlement of this difficult problem. My suggestions at this stage, then, must clearly be of such nature as to provide a reasonable framework of reference within which the two parties may find it possible to continue their consultations with me toward the end of a peaceful adjustment.”]

Part II. Suggestions Presented by the Mediator on Palestine

The Mediator advanced the following suggestions as a possible basis for discussion:

  1. That, subject to the willingness of the directly interested parties to consider such an arrangement, Palestine, as defined in the original Mandate entrusted to the United Kingdom in 1922, that is including Transjordan, might form a Union comprising two members, one Arab and one Jewish.
  2. That the boundaries of the two members be determined in the first instance by negotiation with the assistance of the Mediator and on the basis of suggestions to be made by him. When agreement is reached on the main outlines of the boundaries they will be definitively fixed by a Boundaries Commission.
  3. That the purposes and function of the Union should be to promote common economic interests, to operate and maintain common services, including customs and excise, to undertake development projects and to co-ordinate foreign policy and measures for common defence.
  4. That the functions and authority of the Union might be exercised through a central council and such other organs as the members of the Union may determine.
  5. That, subject to the provision of the Instrument of Union, each member of the Union may exercise full control over its own affairs including its foreign relations.
  6. Immigration within its own borders should be within the competence of each member, provided that following a period of two years from the establishment of the Union, either member would be entitled to request the Council of the Union to review the immigration policy of the other member and to render a ruling thereon in terms of the common interests of the Union. In the event of the inability of the Council to reach a decision on the matter, the issue could be referred by either member to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations whose decision, taking into account the principle of economic absorptive capacity, would be binding on the member whose policy is at issue.
  7. That religious and minority rights be fully protected by each member of the Union and guaranteed by the United Nations.
  8. That Holy Places, religious buildings and sites be preserved and that existing rights in respect of the same be fully guaranteed by each member of the Union.
  9. That recognition be accorded to the right of residents of Palestine who, because of conditions created by the conflict there have left their normal places of abode, to return to their homes without restriction and to regain possession of their property.

Part III. Annex to the Suggestions: Territorial Matters

With regard to paragraph 2 of the suggestions, it is considered that certain territorial arrangements might be worthy of consideration. These might be along the following lines:

  1. Inclusion of the whole or part of the Negeb in Arab territory.
  2. Inclusion of the whole or part of Western Galilee in Jewish territory.
  3. Inclusion of the City of Jerusalem in Arab territory, with municipal autonomy for the Jewish community and special arrangements for the protection of the Holy Places.
  4. Consideration of the status of Jaffa.
  5. Establishment of a free port at Haifa, the area of the free port to include the refineries and terminals.
  6. Establishment of a free airport at Lydda.

Count Folke Bernadotte
United Nations Mediator on Palestine

Source: Text of Suggestions Presented by Count Bernadotte, at Rhodes, to the Two Parties on June 28, 1948, Foreign Relations Of The United States, 1948, The Near East, South Asia, And Africa, Volume V, Part 2.