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UNSC Approves US Proposed Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Plan

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The United Nations Security Council has approved a US-proposed Israel-Gaza ceasefire plan. It sets out conditions for a “full and complete ceasefire,”  the release of hostages held by Hamas, the return of dead hostages’ remains and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners. 

Fourteen of the 15 Security Council members, including the US, voted in favour of the resolution. Russia abstained. The resolution states that Israel has accepted the ceasefire proposal, and urges Hamas to agree to it, too.

The plan has three phases that would end with a major reconstruction plan for Gaza, which has been largely destroyed in the conflict. The first phase of the plan concerns a hostage-prisoner swap as well as a short-term ceasefire.

The second phase includes a “permanent end to hostilities”, as well as a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, according to a text of the US draft resolution. The third phase focuses on the enclave’s long-term outlook, and it would start a multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza.

The resolution comes weeks after President Joe Biden said the Israelis had agreed to a three-phase plan that would result in a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly rebuked parts of the resolution, and repeatedly said he plans to proceed with military operations until Hamas is destroyed.

The conflict began when Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking some 251 people hostage.

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