USA fails in bid for United Nations condemnation of Hamas

USA fails in bid for United Nations condemnation of Hamas

USA fails in bid for United Nations condemnation of Hamas

India was among the 32 countries that abstained from voting on the resolution which would have condemned Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk", and for its use of resources in Gaza to construct military infrastructure including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas.

The resolution required two-thirds support and while Assembly resolutions are non-binding, they can carry political weight.

Sami Abu Zahri, a spokesman for Hamas, the militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, wrote on Twitter after the vote: "The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the U.S. administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance".

Kuwait had asked the assembly, on behalf of Arab countries, to require a two-thirds majority, which was narrowly endorsed by a vote of 75 in favor, including European Union countries, 72 against and 26 abstentions. "Just last Friday there was no decision that resolutions under this same agenda item had to be adopted by a two-thirds vote".

Haley told the assembly before the vote that it could make history and unconditionally speak out against Hamas, which she called "one of the most obvious and grotesque cases of terrorism in the world".

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"The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously", wrote Haley, who repeatedly has said the administration will "take names" of any countries voting against US foreign policy. I thank the American administration and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative.

It called for "the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East" on the basis of United Nations resolutions, singling out the December 2016 measure, and reaffirms "unwavering support. for the two-state solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders".

"The General Assembly has never said anything - not one thing - about Hamas, even when we all agree Hamas' behavior undermines any prospects for peace". "The question before us now is whether the United Nations thinks terrorism is acceptable if, and only if, it is directed at Israel".

A number of States explained their reasons for voting against the resolution.

The rival resolutions reflect the deep divisions among the 193 United Nations member states over the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict - and the failure to end it.

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When Hamas eventually took control, Israel responded by enforcing a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza and banning its residents from working in Israel.

Both Israel and the United States exerted considerable effort to convince Arab states to join in a straightforward condemnation of Hamas, calling a denouncement of terrorism a basic building block for peace talks.

The US defeat at the General Assembly came as the Trump administration prepares to unveil long-awaited peace proposals, possibly in the first months of next year.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately thanked Israel's friends in the United Nations General Assembly in a statement Thursday night.

Haley called condemnation of Hamas "an essential step" to a peace settlement.

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