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Security Council adopts US resolution calling for ‘immediate, complete and total ceasefire’ – Global Issues

The text drawn up by the United States calls on Hamas to accept a ceasefire proposal announced by President Joe Biden on May 31 and which has already been accepted by Israel.

Adopted by a large majority 14 votes in favor and Russia abstained and chose not to exercise its veto – the resolution also urges both sides to fully implement the terms of the proposal”without delay and without conditions.

Russia’s Permanent Representative told the Council after the vote that there was uncertainty over what exactly Israel had signed in the resolution, leaving too many questions unanswered for Moscow to provide support.

‘Durable end’ of the war in sight

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

He added that the terms of the deal had been communicated by Qatar to the Hamas leadership.

The US-led initiative, which signaled a hopeful shift in diplomacy, brought both Israel and the Palestinian mission on board, avoiding the vetoes of permanent members – including the US itself – which had halted action on a number of of the resolutions that have not been adopted since the Second World War. On October 7, terrorist attacks and kidnappings began the cycle of violence.

Three-phase approach

The motion provides for a three-phase approach to ensure a sustainable and comprehensive end to the fighting.

Phase one includes an “immediate, full and complete ceasefire with the release of hostages, including women, the elderly and wounded, the return of the remains of some killed hostages, and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners.”

It calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the ‘populated areas’ of Gaza, the return of Palestinians to their homes and neighborhoods in the enclave, including in the north, and for the safe and effective distribution of humanitarian aid on a large scale .

A definitive end to hostilities

Phase two would see a permanent end to hostilities “in exchange for the release of all other hostages remaining in Gaza and a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

In phase threeA “major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza” would be launched and the remains of all deceased hostages still in the Gaza Strip would be returned to Israel.

The Council also underlined the proposal’s provision that if phase one negotiations last longer than six weeks, the ceasefire will continue as long as negotiations continue.

No territorial change

The resolution states the Security Councilrejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the enclave’s territory.

The text also reiterates the Council’s “unwavering commitment” to the vision of the two-state solution, where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders, in accordance with international law and the relevant UN resolutions.

“In this context, emphasizes the importance of uniting the Gaza Strip with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” the resolution added.

Hamas must accept deal: US

The fighting could end today if Hamas agrees to the deal now approved by the Security Council US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

UN photo/Eskinder Debebe

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

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said there is now an opportunity to chart a new course and that the US will help ensure Israel fulfills its obligations, “assuming Hamas accepts the deal.”

Today marks the fourth Security Council resolution making clear that the only way to break the cycle of violence “is through a political settlement,” she added.

Algeria: ‘Palestinian lives matter’

Algerian Ambassador Amar Bendjama said his compatriots “deeply feel” the suffering of Palestinians and, with their own history of struggle against colonial occupation, “fully understand and support” the legitimate and just demands of the Palestinian people.

“As a free and dignified people, Palestinians will never accept living under occupation. They will never give up their struggle for liberation,” he said.

UN photo/Eskinder Debebe

Stressing that Algeria’s sole guiding principle has been to save Palestinian lives, he said his country cannot remain silent in the face of collective punishment against the Palestinian people.

“Palestinian lives matter,” he emphasized.

He said Algeria voted in favor of the draft because it represents a step towards an immediate and lasting ceasefire. “This text is not perfect, but it offers a glimmer of hope for Palestinians, as the alternative is continued killing and suffering. We voted for this text to give diplomacy a chance,” he added.

“It’s time to stop the killing.”

A permanent ceasefire is key: China

Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong said they voted in favor of the resolution, but a permanent ceasefire is needed, which is at the heart of the international community’s concerns.

Ending the bombardment and offensive is also the most urgent need for civilians under fire in Gaza.

He emphasized that all Security Council resolutions are binding and that this should not be any different today.

All resolutions must be implemented in an efficient and constructive manner, he added.

Russia: No clarity about ‘so-called deal’

Russian Ambassador and Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia said his country had abstained due to a number of outstanding concerns.

UN photo/Eskinder Debebe

“From the very beginning of the military escalation, we have consistently and unwaveringly advocated the need for a permanent ceasefire, including to release the hostages and resolve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

“We have a whole series of questions about the US draft resolution, where the Council welcomes an agreement – ​​the final contours of which may not be known to anyone except the mediators,” he said.

Although the resolution calls on Hamas to accept the “so-called deal,” there is no clarity about Israel’s official agreement “as written in the resolution.”

Noting public statements by Israeli leaders indicating that the war would continue until Hamas is completely defeated, he asked “what specifically has Israel agreed to?”

The parameters of this “deal” are “vague” and the Council should not sign it, he added.

Israel: War objectives unchanged

Israel’s representative Reut Shapir Ben Naftaly said her country’s objectives have been “very clear” since the first few days after October 7: “To bring all our hostages back home and dismantle Hamas’s capabilities… and ensure that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel in the future” .

UN photo/Evan Schneider

“As we have repeated several times in this chamber, once these goals are achieved, the war will end,” she added, noting that 120 hostages remain in captivity and that Hamas continues to fire rockets at Israeli towns and cities .

She called for more pressure on Hamas, stating that while three resolutions have been passed by the Security Council calling for the release of hostages, none have been released as a result.

“The pressure on the terrorists should have started long ago, but it is not too late; it must start now,” she added.

“We will continue until all hostages are returned and until Hamas’s military and administrative capabilities are dismantled,” she said.

“Israel will not engage in pointless and endless negotiations that could be exploited by Hamas as a means to stall for time,” she added.

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