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UN security council backs US-proposed Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal

The United Nations Security Council has passed the US-proposed Israel-Gaza ceasefire agreement.

The council voted 14-1 on Monday, with Russia abstaining.

The proposal sets out conditions for a “full and complete ceasefire,” the release of hostages held by Hamas, the return of deceased hostages’ remains, and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners.

The ceasefire is a three-phase plan.

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The first phase envisages a six-week halt in fighting and a withdrawal of Israeli troops from populated areas of Gaza, allowing displaced Palestinians to return to their homes.

A surge in humanitarian aid, with around 600 trucks entering the enclave each day, is also projected.

Hamas would release female, elderly, and injured hostages in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians being held in Israel.

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In a second phase, all remaining hostages in Gaza would be released, while Israeli forces would withdraw from the entirety of the Gaza Strip.

US President Joe Biden said the temporary cease-fire would become a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Phase three ends with a multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza, which has been largely destroyed due to the fighting, and the return of any remains of hostages who have been killed.

Linda Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, welcomed the vote and urged Hamas to accept it.

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“Today, this council sent a clear message to Hamas: accept the ceasefire deal on the table,” she said.

Greenfield added that Israel has already agreed to it.

“The fighting could stop today if Hamas could do the same,” she said.

“This Council and countries across the region and the world have endorsed this agreement.”

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Previous ceasefire proposals have yielded little success.

Hamas seeks a permanent end to the war, but Israel says it must destroy the Islamist militant group first.

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