The US urges the UN Security Council to support the ceasefire plan announced by President Biden in Gaza

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Monday urged the U.N. Security Council 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 to the devastated areas. area.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the United States circulated a draft resolution among the 14 other council members supporting the proposal to end the conflict that began with Hamas’ surprise attack in southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people died, mostly Israelis. citizens.

“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 the implementation of this agreement 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 fully accept it and implement its terms without delay and without conditions.” Hamas has said it considers the proposal “positive.”

There is no mention of Israeli acceptance of the deal.

When Biden made the announcement, he called it an Israeli offer that includes a “lasting ceasefire” and an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza if Hamas releases all the hostages it is holding.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his hardline governing partners on Monday that the proposal announced by Biden would meet Israel’s goal of destroying Hamas, according to local media. The ultranationalists have threatened to topple his government if Netanyahu agrees to a deal that does not eliminate Hamas.

Netanyahu told parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that Biden gave an outline of the deal but not all the details, saying there are “gaps.”

Biden said the first phase of the proposed deal would last six weeks and include a “full and complete ceasefire,” a withdrawal of Israeli troops from all populated areas of Gaza and the release of some hostages, including women, the elderly and the injured, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

American hostages would be released at this stage and the remains of dead hostages would be returned to their families. There would be an increase in humanitarian aid, with 600 trucks entering Gaza per day.

In the second phase, all remaining living hostages would be released, including soldiers, and Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza. Biden said that if Hamas keeps its promises, the temporary ceasefire would become a “permanent cessation of hostilities.”

About 250 people, mostly Israeli civilians, were kidnapped on October 7, with more than 100 people released during a brief ceasefire in late November and early December. Israel says about 80 hostages are believed to be still held captive, along with the remains of about 43 others.

Israeli bombings and ground offensives in Hamas-ruled Gaza have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry, which makes no distinction between fighters and civilians.

The third phase of the plan announced by Biden calls for the start of a large-scale reconstruction of Gaza, which faces decades of rebuilding after the destruction caused by the war.

The draft resolution emphasizes the importance of Israel and Hamas adhering to the deal once it is agreed, “with the aim of achieving a permanent cessation of hostilities, and calls on 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 emphasize the importance of uniting the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.

Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador, said that members of the Security Council “have consistently called for the steps outlined in this deal: bringing the hostages home, ensuring a full ceasefire, allowing of a wave of humanitarian aid in Gaza and the revival of essential services, paving the way for a long-term reconstruction plan for Gaza.”

“Council members should not miss this opportunity,” she said. “We must speak with one voice in support of this deal.”

On Monday, the foreign ministers of five key Arab countries – Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt – urged Israel and Hamas to consider Biden’s proposal “seriously and positively.”

The Group of Seven major industrialized countries – the US, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy – also backed the ceasefire plan.

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