On 29 November 1947 the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine or United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, a plan to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in the British Mandate of Palestine, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN World Headquarters in New York. The plan would have partitioned the territory of Western Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with the Greater Jerusalem area, encompassing Bethlehem, coming under international control. The failure of the British government and the United Nations to implement this plan and its rejection by the Arabs resulted with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
The Arab leadership (in and out of Palestine) opposed the plan, arguing that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000). Arab leaders also argued a large number of Arabs would be trapped in the Jewish State as a minority. While some Arab leaders opposed the right of the Jews for self-determination in the region, others criticised the amount and quality of land given to Israel.
The United Kingdom refused to implement the plan arguing it was not acceptable to both sides. It also refused to share with the UN Palestine Commission the administration of Palestine during the transitional period, and decided to terminate the British mandate of Palestine on May 15th, 1948.
Fighting began almost as soon as the plan was approved, beginning with the Arab Jerusalem Riots of 1947. The fighting would have an effect on the Arab population of Palestine, as well the Jewish populations of neighboring Arab countries.
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