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Hamas accepts UN resolution backing ceasefire deal

11 Jun. 24: Hamas has accepted a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution backing a ceasefire deal in Gaza, in what Washington described as a “hopeful sign”. The Palestinian group said in a statement Monday after the vote that it “welcomed” the resolution, and expressed “readiness” to implement its principles through indirect talks with Israel, reports Middle East Eye.

Hamas added that the resolution was “consistent with the demand of our people and resistance,” including a permanent end to Israel’s war on Gaza, a complete withdrawal of the Israeli military from the strip and a prisoner exchange deal.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters the group backed the resolution proposed by US President Joe Biden and was ready to negotiate over the details.

Abu Zuhri added that it was up to the US to make sure Israel abides by it.

“The US administration is facing a real test to carry out its commitments in compelling the occupation to immediately end the war in an implementation of the UN Security Council resolution,” he said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel meeting with officials on Tuesday in a push to end the eight-month-old Israeli assault on Gaza.

Speaking from Tel Aviv, Blinken said conversations on plans for Gaza after the war ends would continue on Tuesday afternoon and in the next couple of days.

He added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “reaffirmed his commitment” to a Gaza ceasefire deal during their meeting in Jerusalem.

Blinken also said he believes there is a “strong consensus” amongst Israeli leaders to move forward with the plan.

“This proposal and moving forward on it is the first step,” he told reporters. “We want to see it come to fruition.”

Blinken added that Hamas’s welcoming of the resolution was a “hopeful sign” and that while the US remains committed to the Palestinian group’s defeat, military means are not sufficient.

“There has to be a clear political plan, a clear humanitarian plan, in order to ensure Hamas does not in any shape or form resume control of Gaza.”

Biden last month announced a three-phase ceasefire proposal that he said would end the war on Gaza and lead to a prisoner exchange.

Netanyahu later rejected the suggestion he would agree to end the war as part of the deal, leading Hamas to seek proper guarantees from mediators as part of talks that are ongoing in Doha.

Last week, Middle East Eye reported the latest Israeli proposal received by Hamas did not guarantee a permanent cessation of hostilities as described by Biden in his speech announcing the proposal.

And despite US claims that the proposal Biden unveiled was backed by Israel, Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel intends to continue fighting in Gaza until it eliminates Hamas’s governing and military capabilities.

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