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US urges UN Security Council to back Israel-Hamas ceasefire plan

By AFP

June 4, 2024 08:30 AM


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The United States on Monday announced a draft Security Council resolution supporting the Israel-Hamas ceasefire plan outlined by Joe Biden last week, urging Hamas to accept it.

"Numerous leaders and governments, including in the region, have endorsed this plan," said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

The draft text, seen by AFP, "welcomes the new deal announced on May 31, and calls upon Hamas to accept it fully and implement its terms without delay and without condition."

Biden outlined on Friday what he called an Israeli plan that in three phases would end the bloody conflict, free all hostages and lead to the reconstruction of the devastated Palestinian territory without Hamas in power.

However fissures between the two allies emerged when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office stressed that the ongoing war in Gaza would continue until all of Israel's "goals are achieved," including the destruction of Hamas's military and governing capabilities.

Israeli media have questioned to what extent Biden's ceasefire speech and some crucial details were coordinated with Netanyahu's team, including how long any truce would hold and how many captives would be freed and when.

Earlier Monday, the White House said Biden told the emir of mediator Qatar that he saw Hamas as "the only obstacle to a complete ceasefire" in Gaza, and urged him to press the group to accept it.

Hamas last week said it viewed Biden's outline "positively," but has since made no official comment on the stalled negotiations, while mediators Qatar, Egypt and the United States have not announced any new talks.

Before Biden had made his Friday announcement, Algeria had last week circulated a draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and a halt of the Israeli offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, citing the recent order to that effect from the International Court of Justice.

Washington at the time had said that the text wouldn't be helpful, saying instead direct, on-the-ground negotiations were necessary for a truce.

No vote is scheduled for either draft resolution.

The council has struggled to find a unified voice since the war broke out with the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, followed by Israel's retaliatory campaign.

After passing two resolutions centered on the need for humanitarian aid to people in Gaza, in March the council passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire -- an appeal that had been blocked several times before by the United States.

Washington, increasingly frustrated with the mounting civilian death toll, finally allowed that resolution to pass by abstaining from voting.


AFP


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