UN Security Council backs Israel-Hamas ceasefire plan

The United Nations Security Council has backed a proposal outlined by President Joe Biden for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and urged the Palestinian militants to accept the deal aimed at ending the eight-month-long war.
Hamas welcomed the adoption of the U.S.-drafted resolution, saying in a statement that it is ready to cooperate with mediators over implementing the principles of the plan “that are consistent with the demands of our people and resistance.”
Russia abstained from the UN vote, while the remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favour of the resolution supporting a three-phase ceasefire plan laid out by Biden on May 31 that he described as an Israeli initiative.
“Today we voted for peace,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council after the vote.
The resolution welcomes the new ceasefire proposal, states that Israel has accepted it, calls on Hamas to agree to it, and “urges both parties to implement its terms without delay fully, and without condition.”
Algeria, the only Arab member state in the council, supported the resolution because “we believe it can represent a step forward toward an immediate and lasting ceasefire,” Algeria’s UN Ambassador Amar Bendjama told the council.
“It offers a glimmer of hope to the Palestinians,” he said, adding: “It’s time to halt the killing.“
The resolution also provides details on the proposal and indicates that “if the negotiations take longer than six weeks for phase one, the ceasefire will continue as long as negotiations continue.”
However, it did not contain enough detail for Moscow.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia asked what Israel had specifically agreed to and said the Security Council should not be signing up to agreements with “vague parameters.”
“We did not wish to block the resolution simply because it, as much as we understand, is supported by the Arab world,” Nebenzia told the council.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan was present for the vote but did not address the council.
Instead, senior Israeli UN diplomat Reut Shapir Ben Naftaly told the body that Israel’s goals in Gaza had always been clear.
“Israel is committed to these goals – to free all the hostages, to destroy Hamas’ military and governing capabilities, and to ensure that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel in the future,” she said.
“It is Hamas that is preventing this war from ending. Hamas and Hamas alone,” she added.
The council in March demanded an immediate ceasefire and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas.
For months, negotiators from the U.S., Egypt, and Qatar have been trying to mediate a ceasefire.
Hamas says it wants a permanent end to the war in the Gaza Strip and Israeli withdrawal from the enclave of 2.3 million people.
Israel is retaliating against Hamas, which rules Gaza, over an Oct. 7 attack by its militants.
More than 1,200 people were killed and no fewer than 250 were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, according to Israeli tallies.
More than 100 hostages are believed to remain captive in Gaza.
Israel launched an air, ground, and sea assault on the Palestinian territory, killing more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.

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