Saturday, June 22, 2024

UNSC approves US-drafted proposal supporting ceasefire in Gaza war

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Amid rising tensions in West Asia due to the Israel-Hamas war, which is in its eighth month now, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution vote on the US proposal for a permanent ceasefire and release of the hostages in Gaza on Monday (local time).


The US-drafted text calls for Hamas to accept a ceasefire proposal announced on May 31 by President Joe Biden that has already been accepted by Israel.


The resolution was notably adopted with 14 votes in favor, zero against, and one abstention by Russia, as the country chose not to exercise its veto power.


The resolution that is adopted aims at reaching a comprehensive ceasefire deal in three phases, according to UN News.


The first phase calls for an “immediate, full, and complete ceasefire with the release of hostages, including women, the elderly and the wounded, the return of the remains of some hostages who have been killed, and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners.”


It demands that Israeli soldiers leave Gaza’s “populated areas,” that Palestinians be allowed to return to their homes and communities anywhere in the territory, including the north, and that humanitarian aid be distributed widely and safely.


Whereas Phase Two would see a permanent end to hostilities “in exchange for the release of all other hostages still in Gaza, and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza,” according to UN News.


Phase three, on the other hand, would have a “major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza” and the remains of any deceased hostages still in the Strip would be returned to Israel.


President Biden had described the deal as “not just a ceasefire that would inevitably be fragile and temporary” but one that would provide a “durable end to the war”.


More importantly, he had said that the terms of the deal had been transmitted by Qatar to the leadership of Hamas.


Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that the fighting could stop today if Hamas agrees to the deal now endorsed by the Security Council.


She asserted that Hamas should now see clearly that the international community is united, “united behind a deal that will save lives and help Palestinian civilians in Gaza start to rebuild and heal. United behind a deal that will reunite hostages with their families after eight months in captivity.”


Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield stated that there is now a chance to steer clear of the current situation and that the US will assist in making sure Israel fulfils its responsibilities, however, it would all be done “assuming that Hamas accepts the deal.”


In the resolution, the UN Security Council do not allow any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the territory of the enclave.


It also reiterates the Council’s “unwavering commitment” to the vision of the two-state solution. “In this regard stresses the importance of unifying the Gaza Strip with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” the resolution added.


The conflict in Gaza escalated after the October 7 attack by Hamas, where about 2,500 terrorists breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to casualties and the seizure of hostages.


Israel has since, characterised its Gaza offensive as targeting Hamas’ infrastructure with the goal of eliminating the entire terror group while making efforts to minimize civilian casualties.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jun 11 2024 | 6:51 AM IST

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