UN passes US-presented ceasefire deal

by ian

The United Nations has officially backed a U.S. ceasefire proposal in Gaza – but it remains to be seen if this ceasefire will go anywhere.

On Monday, the UN Security Council voted to back the proposal presented by President Joe Biden. Biden laid out the general ideas behind this ceasefire during press remarks on May 31.

The proposal calls for an “immediate, full and complete ceasefire.” It asks both Israel and Hamas to implement the terms “without delay and without condition.” Those terms will supposedly be negotiated upon agreement between Israel and Hamas.

The resolution was put before the UN Security Council and passed with 14 votes. Russia was the only nation to abstain from voting in the process – saying the proposal did not specify Israel’s agreements well enough. But members who supported the ceasefire say it represents a good chance at peace in the region.

Before the resolution passed, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was visiting Middle Eastern leaders about a ceasefire. At the time, Blinken said the biggest hiccup was getting Hamas to cooperate.

But according to Hamas leadership, they are on board with the terms. Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said on Tuesday that the terrorist group accepts the ceasefire proposal and stands ready to negotiate while saying the “real test” is convincing Israel to cooperate.

Despite this statement, Qatari and Egyptian mediators say they are still waiting for a formal acceptance from Hamas – and from Israel.

Israel has not beaten around the bush about its goals concerning the war. During the day of the resolution vote, Israeli UN diplomat Reut Shapir Ben Naftaly said that Israel remained committed to freeing the hostages, destroying any militaristic and governing capabilities of Hamas, and ensuring “that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel in the future.”

These commitments had previously scuttled negotiations on other ceasefire deals, as Israel and Hamas could not come to terms. However, one senior Israeli government official said that the ceasefire proposal could enable Israel to achieve its war goals.