U.N. Fails to Pass U.S.-Sponsored Resolution Condemning Hamas

Arab nations outmanoeuvre US to defeat anti Hamas resolution at UN

U.N. Fails to Pass U.S.-Sponsored Resolution Condemning Hamas

While the majority of the U.N.'s general assembly voted for the resolution Thursday, the United States and outgoing ambassador Nikki Haley were outflanked procedurally, losing a vote beforehand requiring a two-thirds approval for the resolution to pass, instead of a simple majority.

The United States and Israel voted against the resolution in addition to Australia, Liberia, Marshall Islands, and Nauru.

The Saudi Arabian representative stated that, since 1967, Israel has not respected any General Assembly or Security Council resolutions, whilst Kuwait and Iran's representatives said that the resolution "ignores" and "deflects attention from" the root causes of the conflict.

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While 87 countries backed the motion, compared to 57 that rejected it (with 33 abstentions), it did not meet a 2/3 majority requirement that was put in place - with the support of a group of Arab nations - just before the vote. The people who have suffered by far the most because of Hamas are the Palestinian people.

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. It also condemned attempts by Hamas to build tunnels into Israel and launch rockets at civilian areas.

There was also much diplomatic wrangling after the Palestinians presented an amendment to the U.S. text to include a reference to United Nations resolutions that condemn Israeli settlements, call for negotiations on East Jerusalem and pledge support for the two-state solution.

Haniyeh, in a statement released on Friday, said the majority of world countries stood with Palestinian rights, including the right of our people to resist the Tel Aviv regime's occupation and salvation from it, against a resolution that sought to denounce the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian nation.

It outlined the basis for comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace and referred to a December 2016 Security Council resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation" of worldwide law.

The counter-resolution calls for "the achievement, without delay" of lasting Mideast peace on the basis of previous United Nations resolutions.

"Regardless of what any country in this chamber thinks a future peace settlement should look like", Haley said, "support for this resolution is an essential step to achieving it".

In an official statement, Hamas thanked United Nations member states "that stood by our people's resistance and the justice of their cause" and attacked Haley who it said "is known for her extremism and her positions that support the Zionist terrorism in Palestine".

Last month saw a flare-up of violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

The Arabs know all about Hamas but in their calculation, the time for a complete capitulation to Israeli diktats on how the peace process should unfold has not yet come, no matter what Haley and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law who is in charge of sorting out the Middle East, believe. The U.S. text does not refer specifically to the two-state solution.

Although some questioned why India wouldn't condemn Hamas as a terrorist organisation, New Delhi's position was complex and well thought through.

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