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US urges UN to back Biden’s 3-phase plan for Gaza

US urges UN to back Biden's 3-phase plan for Gaza
Jun 4, 2024 5:20 PM

The United States urged the U.N. Security Council on Monday to support the three-phase plan announced by President Joe Biden aimed at ending the nearly eight-month war in Gaza, freeing all hostages and sending massive aid into the devastated territory.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. circulated a draft resolution to the 14 other council members to back the proposal for ending the conflict that began on Oct. 7.

“Numerous leaders and governments, including in the region, have endorsed this plan and we call on the Security Council to join them in calling for implementation of this deal without delay and without further conditions,” she said in a statement.

The brief draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, would welcome the May 31 deal announced by Biden and call on Hamas “to accept it fully and implement its terms without delay and without condition.” Hamas has said it views the proposal “positively.”

American hostages would be released at this stage, and remains of hostages who have been killed would be returned to their families. There would be a surge in humanitarian assistance, with 600 trucks a day entering Gaza.

In the second phase, all the rest of the living hostages would be released, including soldiers, and Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza. Biden said if Hamas lives up to its commitments, the temporary cease-fire would become a “cessation of hostilities permanently.”

About 250 people, mainly Israeli civilians, were abducted on Oct. 7, then more than 100 were freed in a short truce in late November and early December. Israel says about 80 hostages are believed to still be captive, alongside the remains of about 43 others.

Israeli bombardments and ground offensives in Gaza, which Hamas has ruled, have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

The third phase of the plan announced by Biden calls for the start of a major reconstruction of Gaza, which faces decades of rebuilding from devastation caused by the war.

The draft resolution stresses the importance of Israel and Hamas adhering to the deal once it is agreed to, “with the aim of bringing about a permanent cessation of hostilities, and calls upon all member states and the United Nations to support its implementation.”

The draft would also reiterate the council’s “unwavering commitment” to a two-state solution, and stress the importance of unifying the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.

Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador, said Security Council members “have consistently called for the steps outlined in this deal: bringing the hostages home, ensuring a complete ceasefire, enabling a surge of humanitarian assistance into Gaza and in the refurbishment of essential services, and setting the stage for a long-term reconstruction plan for Gaza.”

Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 5:43 PM