UN Security Council approves ceasefire proposal in Gaza

New York (USA) – The United Nations Security Council approved a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The United States-drafted text calls for Hamas to accept a ceasefire proposal announced on 31st May by President Joe Biden that has already been accepted by Israel. Adopted by a large majority with 14 votes in favour and Russia abstaining, choosing not to exercise its veto power, the resolution also urges both parties to fully implement the terms of the proposal without delay and without condition. Israel agreed to this resolution.

The motion envisages a three-phase approach to ensure a lasting 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 the wounded, the return of the remains of some hostages who have been killed, and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners”.

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”.

In phase three, “a major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza” would begin and the remains of any deceased hostages still in the Strip would be returned to Israel.

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

The war will not stop until Hamas is destroyed – Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Saturday dismissed any idea that Israel would agree to a permanent cease-fire before “the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities,” saying such a proposal is “a non-starter.” Israel will talk about a permanent ceasefire only when Hamas is completely destroyed.

Hamas, however, has welcomed the resolution passed by the UN Security Council. Hamas said it was ready to negotiate with mediators.

Israel is not obliged to accept the resolution

According to the New York Times, member states of the United Nations Security Council must abide by the resolutions. However, Israel is not a permanent or non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. In such a case it is not bound to accept the proposal. Even if a resolution is passed in the Security Council, it cannot be acted upon.