US calls for Security Council vote on proposal for cease-fire between Israel and Hamas

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The Biden administration on Monday called for the United Nations Security Council to vote on a U.S. resolution laying out an immediate truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Nate Evans, spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the UN, said it was important for the Security Council to put pressure on Hamas to accept a proposal that Israel has accepted. 

“Israel has accepted this proposal and the Security Council has an opportunity to speak with one voice and call on Hamas to do the same,” Evans said.  

It’s not yet clear if the Security Council will take up a vote on the resolution. And even if the resolution passed, it’s unclear whether there are any mechanisms for enforcement. One of the powers of the resolution is that it puts the council on record of support for a particular action. 

The U.S. draft resolution is based on a three-phase proposal President Biden laid out earlier this month that would require the release of some Israeli hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a six-week cease-fire. Biden has called for the first phase to allow time for diplomacy to move into a second phase of a further, enduring cessation of hostilities and reaching agreements on thorny issues for both Israel and Hamas. 

The Biden administration emphasizes that Israel has accepted the cease-fire proposal. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cast doubt over that commitment, warning that Israel cannot agree fully to the terms of the deal without commitment from Hamas.

In response to this, Hamas has rejected engaging in the cease-fire proposal entirely, stalling efforts at negotiations.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, having arrived in Egypt on Monday, is on a two-day tour of the region to build support for the cease-fire proposal. He will travel to Israel, Jordan and Qatar. Egypt and Qatar have acted as mediators with Hamas amid the international negotiations for a cease-fire. 

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