Sunday 21st July 2024

11th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly 2nd day at UN Headquarters in New York on February 23^ 2023

The United Nations Security Council has endorsed President Biden’s step-by-step plan to end the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. NPR reports that fourteen members of the council voted in favor of the measure and only one — Russia — elected to abstain. Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power over resolutions. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said: “Today, we voted for peace.”

Nate Evans, spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said in a statement ahead of the vote that the plan would enable a pause in fighting, freeing of a number of hostages and an immediate surge in humanitarian assistance: “Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same. Doing so would help save lives and the suffering of civilians in Gaza as well as the hostages and their families. Council Members should not let this opportunity to pass by and must speak with one voice in support of this deal.”

President Biden announced on May 31 that Israel had proposed a three-part plan that would ultimately lead to a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, as well as the release of all hostages who have been held there since Oct. 7.  The plan sets out three phases starting with a six-week cease-fire, in which Hamas releases some hostages and Israel releases Palestinian prisoners. Hamas and Israel would then negotiate phase two — a permanent end to the war and Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Hamas wants a guarantee of a permanent cease-fire now. The third phase is rebuilding Gaza after eight months of war that have left much of the territory in ruins.

Hamas released a statement following the vote saying they “welcome” what was included in the draft resolution “regarding a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.”

Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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