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UN Security Council supports Gaza ceasefire

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UN Security Council members voting on the proposal

The UN Security Council has overwhelmingly approved a resolution in support of a ceasefire proposal which aims to bring the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza to an end, though it remains unclear whether both sides can agree to the terms.

The resolution, which also calls for the release of all hostages, was adopted Monday with 14 countries voting in favor. None of the council’s members voted against the resolution but Russia, which has veto powers, abstained.

The plan, which was announced by U.S. President Joe Biden on May 31, calls for a three-phase approach which starts with a complete ceasefire while female, elderly and wounded hostages are released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

This first phase would also include the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza, allowing Palestinians to return to their homes, including to Gaza City in the north. It also calls for the distribution of humanitarian aid.

The second phase would call for a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza in exchange for the release of all remaining hostages. And the final phase would include the return of deceased hostages and a multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza.

Monday’s resolution also rejects any territorial changes, emphasizing the need for a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestine live side by side within secure and recognized borders, with the Palestinian Authority controlling both the West Bank and Gaza.

It was not immediately clear whether both Hamas and Israel would agree to the ceasefire proposal.

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