Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

UN Fails to Pass Anti-Hamas Resolution

UN Fails to Pass Anti-Hamas Resolution

The United States had won crucial backing from the European Union, with all 28 countries supporting the draft that would have condemned Hamas for firing rockets into Israel and demanded an end to the violence.

The draft received 87 votes in favor, 57 against, 33 abstentions and 16 countries did not vote.

Last June, 62 countries voted for a US-backed amendment condemning Hamas, 58 opposed it and 42 abstained.

In negotiations with the Europeans, the United States agreed to add a mention of "relevant U.N. resolutions" in its draft, but without specifying which ones.

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".

"We can't talk about peace in the Middle East until we can agree on a basic condemnation of Hamas and its terrorism", Haley said late Thursday.

"Israel is in contravention of all Security Council and General Assembly resolutions", its representative said.

Moreover, Spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement, Daoud Shihab, said the failure of the American resolution at the United Nations represents a slap to the USA administration of President Donald Trump as well as the Zionist regime (of Israel).

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party has been locked in a power struggle with Hamas, welcomed the resolution's defeat saying, "The Palestinian presidency will not allow for the condemnation of the national Palestinian struggle".

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Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon lamented after the vote that a decision to condemn Hamas had been "hijacked" by procedural votes and hailed the "broad support from the world" for condemning Hamas.

Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, reflecting the Arab view, said the USA resolution would "undermine the two-state solution which we aspire to".

She also posed the question of the resolution in stark terms: "The question before us now is whether the United Nations thinks terrorism is acceptable if, and only if, it is directed against Israel". Support from the Arab states is considered crucial to getting it launched, and the United Nations vote suggests it might get a standoffish reception.

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

Israel says it has no choice but to enforce its blockade to defend itself against Hamas, which calls for Israel's destruction and has used Gaza as a base for missile attacks.

Diplomats from nine Arab countries were sent letters by Jason Greenblatt, the White House envoy who is working with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser, on the administration's peace proposal.

The resolution also encouraged "tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation, including support of the mediation efforts of Egypt, and concrete steps to reunite the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority and ensure its effective functioning in the Gaza Strip".

The vote was symbolically important because, from the time Haley arrived at the U.N.in January 2017, she has made a point of trying to turn the tide of what the Trump administration considers overwhelmingly anti-Israel resolutions and this vote illustrated what an uphill battle that turned out to be.

"The UN has a chance to condemn Hamas for the first time", Haley tweeted Thursday.

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