UN General Assembly rejects USA resolution to condemn Hamas

UN General Assembly rejects USA resolution to condemn Hamas

The U.N. General Assembly voted on Thursday against a resolution sponsored by USA ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the Palestinian Hamas group as a terrorist organization.

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.

But the vote on the resolution to condemn Hamas was 87 in favor against 57 opposed, with 33 abstentions - a plurality but below the two-thirds requirement to adopt it.

Ahead of the vote, Haley accused those pushing for that threshold of double standards and noted that the United Nations had never once condemned Hamas by name - despite passing 700 resolutions blasting Israel.

The two-thirds majority that prevented passage of the resolution was advanced by Kuwait on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and approved by a 75-72 vote with 26 abstentions.

Their refusal to back the US resolution comes just weeks before the White House prepares to unveil a proposal to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

"The General Assembly has never uttered the word in any resolution about Hamas", Ambassador Nikki Haley said.

Danon said he has had discussions with some of the Arab ambassadors in the United Nations, and they are unhappy with the support Hamas is getting from Tehran, and the fact that the PA is cooperating with Iran, seen by some of these countries - such as Saudi Arabia - as their mortal enemy.

"She would like to go out with something", said a Security Council diplomat of the USA -drafted resolution. "I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative".

"This is a very important achievement for the US and Israel".

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Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are non-binding, however, they carry political weight and are seen as a barometer of world opinion.

"This resolution was really just an attempt to weaponise the United Nations against the Palestinian people, against their legitimate rights", he told Al Jazeera.

The overwhelming support for the Irish resolution reflects global support for action "without delay" toward an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a two-state solution. Isn't it time to let that go?

The European Union, like the United States, considers Hamas a terror group. This is a very important achievement for the U.S. and Israel.

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

The US defeat at the General Assembly came as the Trump administration prepares to unveil new peace proposals that the Palestinians have already rejected.

Israel captured Gaza in the 1967 Middle East war but withdrew in 2005, while holding onto most of the separate West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule.

If adopted, it would mark the first time the assembly has taken aim at Hamas, the Islamist militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

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

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