UN Security Council adopts resolution calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

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The UN Security Council on Monday adopted a resolution aimed at reaching a comprehensive ceasefire deal in three phases to end the war in Gaza.

Adopted by a large majority with 14 votes in favor and Russia abstaining, Resolution 2735 also urges both parties to the conflict to fully implement the terms of the proposal “without delay and without condition.”

According to the resolution, 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.”

It calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from “populated areas” of Gaza, the return of Palestinians to their homes and neighbourhoods throughout the enclave, including in the north, as well as the safe and effective distribution of humanitarian assistance at scale.

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 Gaza 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 resolution says that Israel has “accepted” the deal and “calls upon” Hamas to do the same.

It also notes that the Security Council rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the territory of the enclave.

The text also reiterates the council’s “unwavering commitment” to the vision of the two-state solution where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders consistent with international law and relevant UN resolutions.

“In this regard stresses the importance of unifying the Gaza Strip with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” according to the resolution.

The Algerian permanent representative to the United Nations, Amar Bendjama, said after the vote that Algeria voted in favor of the draft because it represents a step towards an immediate and lasting ceasefire. “This text is not perfect, but it offers a glimmer of hope to the Palestinians as the alternative is continued killing and suffering … We voted for this text to give diplomacy a chance,” he added.

Source: Xinhua

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