Egypt urges Hamas, Israel to finalize Gaza deal after UNSC vote on ceasefire resolution

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 11 Jun 2024

Cairo has welcomed the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) adoption of a resolution calling for a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Gaza on Monday, urging Hamas and Israel to finalize the proposed deal endorsed by the resolution.

In this photo provided by the United Nations, members of the UN Security Council vote to approve its first resolution endorsing a ceasefire plan aimed at ending the eight-month Israeli war in Gaza. AP


Egypt "calls on Israel and Hamas to take serious steps toward finalizing this deal as fast as possible and to start implementing its provisions without delay or condition," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement early on Tuesday.

On Monday, the Security Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution aimed at supporting a US-backed ceasefire plan for Gaza, with 14-0 votes and one abstention from Russia.

The plan was announced by President Joe Biden late in May and enjoyed global support.

However, Hamas and Israel have not yet announced clear stances on whether they will accept or reject the deal.

Last week, Hamas official Osama Hamdan requested mediators to ensure Israeli commitment to a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza as a prerequisite for approving the deal.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel will not end the war until Hamas is destroyed.

‘Durable end to war’

The proposed three-phase deal includes “an immediate and full” ceasefire in Gaza in the first six-week phase and “upon agreement of the parties and a permanent end to hostilities” in the second phase.

Through these two phases, captives held in Gaza, including the deceased, will be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Additionally, Israeli forces will gradually fully withdraw from Gaza by the second phase.

The third phase focuses on Gaza reconstruction while ensuring the return of the remains of any deceased captives.

The Egyptian foreign ministry welcomed the resolution for backing the plan aimed at reaching a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and implementing a detainee swap.

The ministry also highlighted the deal’s encompassment of a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the safe return of displaced Palestinians to their homes across the strip, and ensuring full access to humanitarian aid to meet the needs of people there.

Egypt calls for Israel to adhere to its obligations under international law and stop the war in Gaza, the killing, and the destruction it has caused to the Palestinians and the entire infrastructure in the strip.

In the resolution, the Security Council also reaffirmed its “unwavering commitment to the vision of the two-state solution where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders, consistent with international law and relevant UN resolutions.”

The resolution also highlighted the need to unify Gaza with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, Egypt reiterated the necessity of taking serious action by international parties to create a political horizon for the implementation of the two-state solution.

“This is the only guarantee to end the crisis from its roots, support the pillars of stability and coexistence in the region, and establish an independent Palestinian state with contiguous territories based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, alongside Israel,” the ministry added.


US Ambassador to UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield (C) votes during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at UN headquarters on June 10, 2024 in New York. AFP


The US-backed plan was announced by President Joe Biden on 31 May, stating in a White House speech that it is “time for this war to end” and the “day after to begin.”

Outlining the offer, which he said was presented by Israel, Biden noted that it would lead to “the cessation of hostilities permanently.”

He added that this is part of the US efforts to ensure “a durable end to the war.”

Finalizing deal

Egypt, Qatar, and the United States, which have mediated between Israel and Hamas to reach a truce over the past months, have jointly called on Hamas and Israel to finalize the agreement embodying the principles outlined by Biden.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu-Zeid has called for both parties to demonstrate the highest levels of responsibility and seriousness to end the war in Gaza, warning that missing out on the US-backed deal will diminish prospects for solutions.

Hamas said on Monday that it welcomes the Security Council resolution, reaffirming its readiness to cooperate with the mediators to enter into indirect negotiations regarding the implementation of these principles.

The Islamic Jihad announced that it looks “positively” to the contents of the resolution, “especially regarding opening the door for reaching a comprehensive cessation of aggression and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces.”

On Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the adoption of the resolution as “a step in the right direction to end the war of genocide against our people in the Gaza Strip.”

Israeli representative to the UN Reut Shapir Ben-Naftaly said following the vote that Israel will not end the war in Gaza until captives are returned and Hamas is dismantled.

She also asserted that Israel “will not engage in meaningless and endless negotiations which can be exploited by Hamas as a means to stall for time.”

Hamdan has also accused Israel of prolonging truce negotiations.

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