Monday, June 17, 2024

UN Security Council backs US Israel-Gaza ceasefire plan

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The UN Security Council voted 14-1 in support of the US-proposed Israel-Gaza ceasefire plan on Monday.

The proposal sets out conditions for a “full and complete ceasefire”, the release of hostages held by Hamas, the return of deceased hostages’ remains and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners.

The plan includes three phases that would end with a multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza, which has been largely destroyed due to the fighting.

Russia abstained from the vote and 14 counties, including the US, voted in favour of the resolution.

The first phase of the plan concerns a hostage-prisoner swap as well as short-term ceasefire.

The second phase includes a “permanent end to hostilities”, as well as a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, according to a text of the US draft resolution.

The third phase focuses on the area’s long-term outlook, and it would start a multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza.

The passage of the resolution comes weeks after President Joe Biden said the Israelis agreed to a three-phase plan that would result in a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.

In remarks, following the passage of the resolution, US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, applauded the security council’s move saying “today we voted for peace”.

UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward described the situation in Gaza as “catastrophic” saying the “suffering has gone on for far too long”.

“We call upon the parties to seize this opportunity and move towards lasting peace which guarantees security and stability for both the Israeli and Palestinian people,” Ambassador Woodward said.

In March, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

The conflict began when Hamas attacked southern Israel on 7 October. The group killed about 1,200 people and took some 251 people hostage.

The Hamas-run health ministry says the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 37,000 since Israel responded to its attack.

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