UNSC adopts a cease-fire resolution aimed at ending Israel-Hamas war

United Nations: The UN Security Council on Monday overwhelmingly approved its first resolution endorsing a cease-fire plan aimed at ending the eight-month war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The US-sponsored resolution welcomes a cease-fire proposal announced by President Joe Biden that the United States says Israel has accepted. It calls on the militant Palestinian group Hamas to accept the three-phase plan.

The resolution - which was approved with 14 of the 15 Security Council members voting in favour and Russia abstaining - calls on Israel and Hamas “to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition”.

Whether Israel and Hamas agree to go forward with the plan remains in question, but the resolution’s strong support in the UN’s most powerful body puts added pressure on both parties to approve the proposal.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel on Monday, where he urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the plan for postwar Gaza as he pushed for more international pressure on Hamas to agree to the cease-fire proposal. Netanyahu has been sceptical of the deal, saying that Israel is still committed to destroying Hamas.

Hamas said it welcomed the adoption of the resolution and was ready to work with mediators in indirect negotiations with Israel to implement it. The statement was among the strongest from Hamas to date, but it stressed the group would continue its struggle against Israeli occupation and work on setting up a “fully sovereign” Palestinian state.

“Efforts are continuing to study and clarify some matters to ensure implementation by the Israeli side,” Hamas spokesperson Jihad Taha said Tuesday.

He said Israel was “stalling and procrastinating and creating obstacles in order to continue the aggression.”

A senior Israeli diplomat did not directly mention the resolution, telling the council Israel’s position is unwavering: “We will continue until all of the hostages are returned and until Hamas’ military and governing capabilities are dismantled.”

“This also means that Israel will not engage in meaningless and endless negotiations, which can be exploited by Hamas as a means to stall for time,” Minister Counsellor Reut Shapir Ben Naftaly said.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield reiterated, however, that Israel has accepted the cease-fire deal, which is supported by countries around the world.

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