||An appeal to the United Nations to protect the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem. As usual the pro-Arab UN did nothing.
In November 1947, when the United Nations decided on the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state, it also called for the internationalization of Jerusalem as a "corpus separatum." The Jewish authorities reluctantly accepted this, as well as other parts of the UN decision, but the Arabs rejected it. The city, nominally still under British rule, was lapsing into anarchy. the Old City, including its Jewish population, was cut off from the new, while the areas outside the walls were divided between the Jews and the Arabs in warring camps. The British forces enclosed themselves against attacks by I.Z.L. and Lehi in barbed wire areas in the New City cleared of Jewish inhabitants (these areas were known by the Jews as "Bevingrad," after the unpopular British foreign secretary). Jewish Jerusalem was put under virtual siege by Arab attacks on supply convoys on the one road from the coast, while the British troops did little or nothing to prevent the assaults. Part of the Jewish Agency building in the center of the city was blown up by Arabs, with loss of lives, and the offices of the Palestine Post and a large residential and shopping block in Ben Yehudah St. were blown up, the last two almost certainly by anti-Jewish terrorists in the British Police. A Jewish convoy taking staff to the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus was attacked and destroyed, with 78 doctors, nurses, and others killed. This occurred only some 200 yards from the British military post that was responsible for safety on the road.
At midnight May 14/15, 1948, when the last of the British forces and government withdrew from Jerusalem, the Jews took control of the government buildings in the center of the town, including the general post office, the police headquarters and the broadcasting studios. The Arab siege, however, continued for another two months, until it was broken by the construction of an alternate route through the hills from the coast (popularly called the "Burma Road") and the laying of a new water pipeline. The whole of western Jerusalem and the Mt. Scopus enclave were in Jewish hands, but Arab guns shelled the Jewish areas, killing 170 civilians and injuring a thousand. Food and water were still strictly rationed and the population was without electricity and fuel. To keep the bakeries going, oil was removed from all houses possessing central heating systems.