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United Nations headquarters in New York (Bigstock)

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a United States-drafted resolution backing a proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, as Pope Francis encouraged peace efforts. Source: SBS News and Vatican News.

Russia abstained from the vote, while the remaining 14 council members voted in favour.

The US finalised its text on Sunday after six days of negotiations among the council.

US President Joe Biden laid out a three-phase ceasefire plan on May 31 that he described as an Israeli initiative.

The proposed deal would start with a six-week “full and complete ceasefire” in Gaza with Israeli forces pulling out of “populated areas” of the Palestinian enclave. 

It would also include the release of some hostages taken by Hamas during its October 7 attack on Israel.

The deal would later expand to include a “permanent end to hostilities” and all remaining living hostages taken by Hamas being released.

Some Security Council members questioned whether Israel had accepted the plan to end the fighting in Gaza.

The resolution welcomes the new ceasefire proposal, “which Israel accepted, calls upon Hamas to also accept it, and urges both parties to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition”.

“We’re waiting on Hamas to agree to the ceasefire deal it claims to want,” US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council before the vote.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis yesterday recalled the 10th anniversary of the Invocation for Peace that took place in the Vatican, attended by the late Israeli president Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Abu Mazen.

 He said that June 8, 2014, encounter showed that “joining hands is possible, and that it takes courage to make peace, far more courage than to wage war.” 

The Pope strongly encouraged ongoing negotiations between those involved, “even though they are not easy,” while expressing hopes that proposals for peace, a ceasefire on all fronts, and the release of the hostages, “will be accepted immediately for the good of Palestinians and Israelis.”


United Nations Security Council endorses Gaza ceasefire deal outlined by US (SBS News)

Pope calls for urgent aid for Gaza and encourages peace efforts (Vatican News)