UNSC votes in favour of Israel-Hamas ceasefire resolution

New York  -   The UN Security Council has voted in favour of a resolution in support of a ceasefire proposal between Hamas and Israel that was put forward by the US.

The resolution lays out a three-phase ceasefire plan, which US President Joe Biden described as an Israeli initiative - though whether Israel and Hamas agree remains in question.

Of the 15 nations on the council, 14 supported the motion, while Russia abstained.

The first phase of the deal would see a six-week ceasefire, the second the return of remaining hostages and the third a reconstruction plan for Gaza.

The resolution welcomes the new proposal, “which Israel accepted, calls upon Hamas to also accept it, and urges both parties to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition”.

It’s the first resolution adopted by the council supporting a specific ceasefire plan, weeks after the body voted in favour of an immediate ceasefire in March.

“We’re waiting on Hamas to agree to the ceasefire deal it claims to want,” US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council before Monday’s vote. “With every passing day, needless suffering continues.” Ms Thomas-Greenfield said Egypt and Qatar has assured Washington they are working to ensure Hamas engages with ceasefire discussions, and the US will ensure Israel “lives up to its obligations as well”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Mr Biden presented only parts of the proposal and insisted any talk of a permanent ceasefire before dismantling Hamas’s military capabilities is a nonstarter.

The draft of the resolution, which President Joe Biden approved, was finalized Sunday after almost a week of negotiations among members of the 15-member council.

For it to pass, the resolution needed at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the countries that have the power to send any cease-fire proposal back to the drawing board — the US, France, Britain, China or Russia.

China made no move to block it and Russia abstained.

In March, China and Russia vetoed a Gaza ceasefire resolution saying it would give Israel a green light to attack the city of Rafah. Prior to that, it was the US that vetoed three draft resolutions, two of which would have demanded an immediate cease-fire.

Biden announced on May 31 that Israel had proposed a three-part plan that would ultimately lead to a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, as well as the release of all hostages who have been held there since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched a bloody surprise attack on Israel.

More than 36,000 Palestinians, including thousands of women and children, have been killed since then by Israeli forces, according to Gaza health authorities.

Nate Evans, spokesperson for the US mission to the UN, said Sunday that it was important for the Security Council to put pressure on Hamas to agree to a proposal that Israel has accepted.

“Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” he said.

But there are signs that Israel may not be on board with this proposal.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt