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United States fails in bid for United Nations condemnation of Hamas

Nikki Haley’s Last Hurrah to Condemn Hamas at UN Scotched by Allies India Plays it Smart

A procedural vote at the UN General Assembly calling for the U.S. resolution to be decided on a two-thirds majority passed before the main vote.

"This is a very important achievement for the United States and Israel. That is something we should all think deeply about", she said, noting that the resolution was not a judgment one way or another on the peace process but "a foundational element of peace - that foundation is the rejection of terrorism, because we all know there can be no peace without a mutual agreement that terrorism is unacceptable".

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It also said the vote against resolution, was a "slap" to Trump's administration.

The vote ultimately failed to cross the higher threshold, with 87 nations voting in favor and 57 voting against.

The vote to require a two-thirds majority was close, 75-72, with 26 abstentions and several countries changing their votes to "yes" at the last minute.

"While it did not achieve a two-thirds majority, this is the first time that a majority of countries have voted against Hamas and I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas", Netanyahu tweeted.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon nevertheless hailed the vote as a "historic achievement" - in that a "record number" of countries got behind an anti-Hamas resolution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley in New Delhi. Credit PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley in New Delhi. Credit PTI

Palestinian factions have expressed deep satisfaction over the failure of a US-sponsored resolution condemning Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets at Israel and for inciting violence". And it 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". It also reaffirmed "unwavering support" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - issues not included in the US draft.

Iran's Deputy UN Ambassador Eshagh Al Habib accused the United States of trying to deflect the attention of the world from the root causes of the conflict and said "we recognize Hamas as a legitimate resistance movement fighting for the liberation of Palestinian territory from foreign occupation".

After talks with the Europeans late Wednesday, the Palestinians agreed to withdraw their amendment and instead bring up a separate resolution, diplomats said.

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. In recent months, the militant group has fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

The PLO's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine also expressed joy over the failure of the U.S. resolution condemning Hamas.

Yet the fact remains that the UN continues to ignore terrorism directed against Israel - a maddening double standard that, as Haley declared, "is a condemnation of the United Nations itself".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party is deadlocked in a bitter rivalry with Hamas, also praised the resolution's defeat saying: "The Palestinian presidency will not allow for the condemnation of the national Palestinian struggle". He said that all those who voted in favor of the resolution "should feel ashamed of their hypocrisy and ignorance of the reality".

Mansour al-Otaibi, the permanent representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, said if the Israeli "occupation" of the Palestinians would end, this resolution would not be necessary.