Thursday, June 13, 2024

UNSC passes US-sponsored Gaza ceasefire resolution, Hamas welcomes move

The United Nations on Monday passed the United States-sponsored Gaza ceasefire resolution in a bid to end the genocidal war on Gaza that killed over 37,000 Palestinians since October 07.

Adopted by a large majority with 14 votes in favour and Russia abstaining, the resolution also urges both parties to fully implement the terms of the proposal “without delay and without condition.”

It is the first time the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding a ceasefire as the US has repeatedly vetoed resolutions calling for the end of Israel’s onslaught in the besieged enclave.

While Israel has not made up their mind, the US ambassador to the UN claimed the ally has accepted the proposal pitched.

In a statement, Hamas welcomed a “permanent” ceasefire, Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, a captive-prisoner exchange, a plan to rebuild, the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, and the rejection of any demographic changes or shrinkage of the enclave’s area as well as the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

The proposal would begin with an initial six-week ceasefire with the release of captives in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas in Gaza and the return of Palestinian civilians to all areas in the territory.

Phase one also requires the safe distribution of humanitarian assistance “at scale throughout the Gaza Strip”, which Biden said would lead to 600 trucks loaded with aid entering Gaza every day.

In phase two, the draft resolution says that with the agreement of Israel and Hamas, “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” would take place. Phase three would launch a major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza and the return of the remains of any deceased hostages still in Gaza to their families.

In the resolution, the Security Council rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the territory of the enclave. 

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 consistent with international law and relevant UN resolutions.

“In this regard stresses the importance of unifying the Gaza Strip with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” the resolution added.

Algerian Ambassador Amar Bendjama said Algeria voted in favour 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 to the Palestinians as the alternative is continued killing and suffering…We voted for this text to give diplomacy a chance”, he added.

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