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The U.N. Security Council endorses U.S. cease-fire plan to end the war in Gaza

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (center) votes during a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at U.N. headquarters on Monday. The Security Council adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution supporting a cease-fire plan in Gaza.
Angela Weiss
/
AFP via Getty Images
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (center) votes during a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at U.N. headquarters on Monday. The Security Council adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution supporting a cease-fire plan in Gaza.

Updated June 10, 2024 at 18:43 PM ET

The United Nations Security Council has endorsed President Biden’s step-by-step plan to end the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

After a 14 to 0 vote on Monday, with Russia abstaining, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the council is sending a clear message to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“This resolution sent a very clear, strong, unified message to Hamas that they accept the cease-fire deal that we put on the table and end this war immediately," she told NPR's All Things Considered on Monday. "Accept the deal, release the hostages, more aid will flow to Palestinians, and the cease-fire will continue as long as negotiations will continue.”

The plan sets out three phases starting with a six-week cease-fire, in which Hamas releases some hostages and Israel releases Palestinian prisoners. Hamas and Israel would then negotiate phase two — a permanent end to the war and Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Hamas wants a guarantee of a permanent cease-fire now.

The third phase is rebuilding Gaza after eight months of war that have left much of the territory in ruins.

The Biden administration says Israel already accepted the deal, but NPR co-host Ari Shapiro asked the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not said so outright.

"He hasn’t said it, for reasons that I am not… that I can’t get into here," Thomas-Greenfield said on All Things Considered. She said conversations between Netanyahu and President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have been "clear that they accept this resolution, they are ready to move forward, they want to see the hostages released, and they want to see peace occur along their borders. And they are working with us on this.”

The vote came on a day when Blinken was visiting the Middle East, with stops in Egypt and Israel. He called on countries to urge Hamas to accept the deal.

"If you want a cease-fire, press Hamas to say yes. If you want to alleviate the terrible suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, press Hamas to say yes. If you want to get all the hostages home, press Hamas to say yes," Blinken said in Cairo earlier Monday.

Hamas called off negotiations after Israel rescued four hostages held in Gaza in an operation this weekend that also killed more than 270 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Algeria's ambassador to the U.N., Amar Bendjama, spoke about why his country voted for the cease-fire resolution on Monday.

“This text is not perfect, but it offers a glimmer of hope to the Palestinians as the alternative is continued killing and suffering," Bendjama said. "We voted for this text to give diplomacy a chance."

Copyright 2024 NPR

Michele Kelemen has been with NPR for two decades, starting as NPR's Moscow bureau chief and now covering the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.