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U.N. Security Council passes Gaza cease-fire resolution drafted by U.S.

Russia abstains as 14 other nations approve measure

By Allen Cone
The United Nations Security Council on Monday passed a resolution drafted by the United States calling for a cease-fire and the immediate release of all hostages. Photo by Eskinder Debebe/United Nations
1 of 2 | The United Nations Security Council on Monday passed a resolution drafted by the United States calling for a cease-fire and the immediate release of all hostages. Photo by Eskinder Debebe/United Nations

June 10 (UPI) -- The United Nations Security Council on Monday passed a resolution drafted by the United States calling for a cease-fire and the immediate release of all hostages.

The move was made in an attempt to end fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that has gone on since October.

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Of the 15 members, none opposed the measure and the only abstention was by Russia, which is among five permanent members of the Security Council that can veto matters. Those other permanent members are United States, France, Britain and China.

Russia said there was a lack of clarity over what exactly Israel had signed up to in the resolution.

In March, China and Russia vetoed a Gaza cease-fire resolution. And before that, the United States vetoed three draft resolutions, two of which would have demanded an immediate cease-fire.

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The Security Council "rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the territory of the enclave," according to the resolution.

The council also gives "unwavering commitment" to the vision of the two-state solution in which Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace.

Before the vote Monday, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that every day the war goes on, "needless suffering continues."

"Colleagues, after eight months of devastation and pain and trauma, what is needed now more than ever is for the fighting to end in a sustainable way," she said. "The United States and every single country in this chamber wants to see an immediate cease-fire with the release of hostages. We've heard those calls time and time again since Oct. 7. Now the opportunity is here. We must seize it."

President Joe Biden said last month that Israel had degraded Hamas' capabilities and it was "time for this war to end" and the "day after to begin."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Middle East to push toward the cease-fire and hostage agreement.

"My message to governments throughout the region, to people throughout the region: If you want a cease-fire, press Hamas to say yes," Blinken told reporters. "If you want to alleviate the terrible suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, press Hamas to say yes.

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"If you want to get all the hostages home, press Hamas to say yes. If you want to put present Palestinians and Israelis alike on the path to more durable peace and security, if you want to prevent this conflict from spreading, press Hamas to say yes."

After the vote, Hamas released a statement that it "welcomes what was included in and confirmed by the Security Council resolution regarding a permanent ceasefire in Gaza."

On Thursday, the United States and 16 other nations urged Hamas and Israel to reach an agreement on a deal to reach a cease-fire in Gaza and release hostages.

More than 36,000 Palestinian have been killed by Israeli forces, according to Gaza health authorities.

Israel said that more than 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7.

On Saturday, Israel rescued four hostages from Gaza. More than 100 hostages are believed to remain captive in Gaza.

Last week, Biden outlined a three-part peace plan, the first lasting six weeks and consisting of a cease-fire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza, the release of a number of hostages and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

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The second phase would bring about a "cessation of hostilities permanently," Biden said, should Hamas abide by the commitments in the agreement, as well as the release of all remaining living hostages.

The last phase: reconstruction of Gaza and the return of remains of hostages to their families.

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