UN Security Council Backs Biden's Gaza Ceasefire Plan, Russia Abstains

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jun 11, 2024 - 01:25 AM

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has finally agreed on something related to Gaza. On Monday it adopted a US-proposed resolution which gives formal backing to an Israel-Hamas ceasefire plan.

Fourteen council members voted in favor, Russia abstained, and there were no votes against, allowing it to pass. The draft resolution welcomes the new ceasefire deal currently set before both sides, "which Israel accepted, calls upon Hamas to also accept it, and urges both parties to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition."

Washington immediately began using the UNSC vote to add pressure on Hamas, at a moment Secretary of State Antony Blinken is touring the Middle East in an effort to get all parties to back the ceasefire plan. But crucially Hamas has faulted the Israeli side while holding firm to its longtime demand of a full IDF military withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

"We’re waiting on Hamas to agree to the ceasefire deal it claims to want," US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the security council. “With every passing day, needless suffering continues.”

The newly adopted UN resolution stipulates that "if the negotiations take longer than six weeks for phase one, the ceasefire will still continue as long as negotiations continue."

The US-backed plan which Biden has also controversially referred to as Israeli-proposed (despite the Netanyahu government having criticized it as "incomplete"), lays out three phases. The below outlines these proposed stages...

First Stage

This stage reportedly includes:

  • A temporary halt to military operations by both sides, with Israeli forces withdrawing to the border areas, including the Gaza Valley – Netzarim axis and Kuwait roundabout.
  • Daily suspension of aerial operations in Gaza for ten hours, extending to 12 hours on days of detainee exchanges.
  • Return of displaced persons to their homes, with a partial Israeli withdrawal from Al-Rashid Street to Salah Al-Din Street starting on the seventh day after Hamas releases seven female detainees.
  • Withdrawal from the Gaza Strip’s center (Netzarim axis and Kuwait Roundabout) by the 22nd day, positioning Israeli forces east of Salah al-Din Road along the border.
  • Humanitarian aid, including 600 trucks per day – including 50 fuel trucks and 300 trucks for the north – will be allowed in from day one, along with necessary supplies to operate essential services and clear rubble.
  • Indirect negotiations for the second phase will begin on the 16th day, focusing on the exchange of remaining Israeli prisoners in Gaza.

Second Stage

During this stage, the following actions will take place, according to the document:

  • Declare the restoration of sustainable calm, marking the permanent cessation of military and hostile operations, before the exchange of detainees and prisoners begins.
  • Release all remaining surviving Israeli male detainees, both civilians and soldiers, in exchange for a number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers.
  • Complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

Third Stage

During this stage, the following actions will take place, according to the document:

  • Exchange all body parts and remains of the deceased from both sides after identification.
  • Begin the Gaza Strip reconstruction plan, lasting 3 to 5 years, covering homes, civilian facilities, and infrastructure. This process will be supervised by countries and organizations, including Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations.
  • Open border crossings to facilitate the movement of residents and transportation of goods.

Meanwhile both warring sides have continued to blame the other for blocking finalization of a ceasefire deal. Hamas says Israeli leaders don't actually want a truce, and Israeli says it is Hamas thwarting the possibility of peace.