U.N. Issues Summary of Protection Forces at Palestinian Request

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has released a summary of past international protection regimes for disputed territories as requested by the Palestinians, though he made clear he was not recommending one for holy sites in Yerushalayim.

The report was issued on Wednesday after Ban held talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. After two days of discussions, there were no signs that the terror campaign was ending.

The 42-page report does not focus on the successes and failures of the various protection regimes but merely describes their structures and legal bases.

It was Abbas who originally requested the report’s release. The Palestinians have been calling for an international protection force to be deployed at Yerushalayim’s holy sites.

Diplomats said that the French had suggested that the Security Council ask the United Nations to prepare a report weighing options for a protection regime for the holy sites, but the United States, Israel and others opposed it.

The chief Palestinian U.N. delegate, Riyad Mansour, told reporters last week he hoped circulation of the protection regime report would encourage Security Council members to reconsider.

The historical summary of protection regimes goes as far back as the early 20th century. One of the first examples is the Free City of Danzig, which after World War One was a predominantly German city in the territory of Poland, which was placed under the protection of the League of Nations.

The report mentions Palestine, which after World War I was administered by Britain; and Yerushalayim, which had a special international regime administered by the United Nations. That regime ended in 1967 when Israel took control of all of Yerushalayim during the Six-Day War.