UNSC approves resolution regarding a ceasefire in Gaza

by Abbas Adil

Shafaqna India: “The United Nations Security Council, on Monday, endorsed a resolution proposed by the United States in support of a ceasefire initiative for Gaza, amid vigorous diplomatic efforts led by Washington to persuade Hamas to agree to the plan.

The resolution, approved with 14 votes in favor and Russia abstaining, expresses approval for the ceasefire and hostage release proposal announced by President Joe Biden on May 31. It calls on all parties to implement the terms of the proposal promptly and unconditionally.

According to the resolution, Israel has accepted the ceasefire plan, while urging Hamas to follow suit.

In response, Hamas issued a statement welcoming the Security Council’s resolution and expressing its readiness to engage in indirect negotiations regarding the outlined principles, which include a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory.

The United States, a staunch supporter of Israel, has faced criticism for blocking previous UN resolutions calling for a Gaza ceasefire. However, President Biden initiated a new diplomatic effort at the end of last month to secure a ceasefire and hostage release.

Following the resolution’s adoption, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield declared, “Today, we voted for peace.”

The initial phase of the ceasefire plan involves an immediate cessation of hostilities, a prisoner exchange, and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas in Gaza. This would facilitate the safe and efficient distribution of humanitarian aid to all Palestinian civilians in need throughout the Gaza Strip.

Earlier on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held discussions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Blinken’s visit follows President Biden’s proposal on May 31 for a three-phase ceasefire plan, encompassing a permanent cessation of hostilities, the release of Israeli and Palestinian prisoners, and the reconstruction of Gaza.

Regarding American prisoners held by Hamas, NBC News reported that US officials are considering negotiating a separate agreement with Hamas to secure the release of five American hostages if ceasefire talks with Israel fail. It remains unclear what concessions the United States might offer Hamas in exchange.

Asked about the report, Secretary of State Blinken stated, “The most effective way to secure the release of everyone, including the American hostages, is through the ceasefire deal currently on the table.”

Any unilateral negotiations with Hamas would be facilitated by Qatari mediators and would not involve Israel, according to the unnamed officials cited by NBC. They suggested that Hamas would have an incentive to reach such an agreement with the United States, as it could strain US-Israel relations further and increase pressure on the Israeli prime minister, who has faced domestic criticism for his handling of the hostage situation.”

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