UN General Assembly rejects United States resolution to condemn Hamas

U.S. fails to win UN condemnation of Hamas militants in Gaza

The UN General Assembly narrowly rejected a US -sponsored resolution Thursday seeking to condemn Hamas.

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

The last time the United States put forth a motion condemning Hamas, in June, the vote was 62-58 in favor, with 42 abstentions - a smaller plurality that also failed to reach a 2/3 threshold.

The earlier vote to require a two-thirds majority, which followed a procedural move requested by Kuwait, was much closer: 75-72, with 26 abstentions.

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.

US Ambassador Nikki 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".

"The draft condemnation of Hamas in the UN General Assembly received a sweeping majority by countries that stood against Hamas", he 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.

But before the vote on the US draft resolution, Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Llorenty Soliz withdrew the amendment. "The question before us now is whether the United Nations thinks terrorism is acceptable if, and only if, it is directed at Israel. I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative".

Danon said the Palestinian demand for the resolution to pass by a two-thirds margin shows their level of concern at the precedent of the UN General Assembly - which is widely viewed as their "home court" - passing a resolution against them.

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.

Israel and Hamas have gone to war three times.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party is locked in a bitter decade-long split with Hamas, also welcomed the resolution's defeat saying: "The Palestinian presidency will not allow for the condemnation of the national Palestinian struggle". "Is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you'll defend a terrorist organization, one that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people?" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended those that voted in favor.

The United States is working on a long-awaited plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but the Palestinians are skeptical and have accused the Trump administration of siding with Israel on core issues.

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.

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

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