Passed by the UN General Assembly on 11 December 1948 after the 1948 War, this resolution resulted from the report of UN mediator Folke Bernadotte, who had been assassinated in September by terrorists from the Irgun, a Zionist militia. It establishes the UN Conciliation Commission (members: France, Turkey, and the United States), which is charged with carrying out instructions of the Security Council and conducting negotiations for a settlement; affirms that Jerusalem should have a special status under an "international regime" apart from the rest of Palestine, and that "all inhabitants of Palestine" should have the "freest possible access" to it; affirms that other holy places should be protected by the United Nations; and, affirming the Palestinians' right of return, resolves "that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible; Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation . . . "
The Conciliation Commission did eventually achieve an armistice, but none of the other provisions were ever put into effect. Clause 11, quoted above, provides the legal basis for the Palestinians' claim of a right of return.
SEE ALSO Arab-Israel War (1948);Bernadotte, Folke;Irgun.