UN Security Council Endorses US-Backed Ceasefire Plan in Israel-Hamas Conflict
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (center) votes during a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at U.N. headquarters on Monday. The Security Council adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution supporting a cease-fire plan in Gaza.  Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

By The Smartencyclopedia Staff Writer with Agencies 

New York, June 11, 2024 — The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has passed a US-backed resolution endorsing a three-phase permanent ceasefire plan aimed at resolving the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The resolution, which was met with an abstention from Russia, marks a significant diplomatic effort to end hostilities and bring stability to the region.

Resolution Details

The resolution, based on a proposal unveiled by US President Joe Biden at the end of May, outlines a detailed roadmap for achieving a lasting ceasefire:

  1. Phase One: Immediate return of elderly, women and wounded hostages held by Hamas in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners. This phase also includes the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza and the safe return of Palestinian civilians.
  2. Phase Two: Liberation of all remaining hostages, a permanent cessation of hostilities in Gaza, and the full withdrawal of Israeli military forces.
  3. Phase Three: Implementation of a comprehensive reconstruction plan for the Gaza Strip.

Diplomatic Reactions

In her remarks before the vote, US UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield highlighted the devastating impact of the conflict over the past eight months. She referenced the October 7 attacks and the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, urging the council to seize this opportunity to end the fighting. Thomas-Greenfield also called upon Hamas to accept the peace deal to bring an end to the conflict.

Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, who abstained from the vote, expressed skepticism about the resolution, citing a lack of clarity and transparency. He questioned the specifics of the plan and voiced concerns over Israel’s commitment to the deal, given conflicting statements about extending the war until Hamas is defeated.

Israel’s Position

Israel’s representative to the UN reiterated the country’s stance, placing full responsibility for the conflict on Hamas. “We will continue until all the hostages are returned and until Hamas’ military and governing capabilities are dismantled,” the representative stated. They further emphasized that Israel would not engage in negotiations that could be exploited by Hamas to stall for time.

Historical Context

The UNSC has struggled to reach a consensus on ceasefire efforts in the Israel-Hamas conflict. While a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire was passed in March, previous attempts saw three vetoed resolutions—one by China and Russia, and two by the US. In December, the Security Council passed a resolution advocating for “steps toward a sustainable cessation of hostilities,” which notably did not include the term “ceasefire.”

Humanitarian Impact

According to Gaza’s health ministry, the conflict has resulted in over 35,000 Palestinian deaths. Hamas is currently believed to be holding around 116 hostages, taken during the October 7 attacks.

Moving Forward

The adoption of this resolution represents a pivotal moment in international efforts to resolve the Israel-Hamas conflict. With the backing of the UNSC, there is cautious optimism that the three-phase plan can pave the way for peace and reconstruction in Gaza. However, the successful implementation of the ceasefire will require cooperation and trust from all parties involved.

As the situation develops, the world watches closely, hoping that this resolution marks the beginning of a new chapter in the quest for peace in the Middle East.

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