A US attempt to get the United Nations to condemn violence by Palestinian militant group Hamas for the first time failed on Thursday because the draft resolution fell short of votes needed in the General Assembly, Reuters reports.
The resolution required two-thirds support and while Assembly resolutions are non-binding, they can carry political weight. The US text received 87 votes in favor, 58 against, 32 abstentions and 16 countries did not vote.
In embarrassment for US and Israeli diplomacy, a Washington-drafted resolution condemning Hamas fails at the UN General Assembly.
A resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements, however, was successfully adopted 156-6.
— Ben White (@benabyad) December 6, 2018
In an earlier procedural move requested by Kuwait, the 193-member body narrowly voted to require two-thirds support and not a simple majority for adoption of the draft resolution.
Outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had written to member states on Monday to urge them to vote for the US-drafted text, warning them:
“The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously.”
— RT (@RT_com) December 6, 2018
Haley, who will step down at the end of the year, has been a staunch defender of Israel.
Haley told the body before the vote:
“Before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemn Hamas terrorism.”
An #Iran representative at the UN says they recorgnize #Hamas as freedom fighters, after USA brought a motion to condemn Hamas. Iran says peace in the Middle East can’t be achieved through intimidating policies. #Palestine #Gaza #Israel pic.twitter.com/YkqFkcYuJ9
— Hassan Isilow (@hisilow) December 6, 2018
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.
Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters that,
“Rejecting the American drafted resolution against the resistance represents a blow to the American administration and reaffirms the legitimacy of the resistance.”
US Amb to UN @NikkiHaley to the Arab states who voted against condemning #Hamas at the #UNGA today: “Is the hatred of #Israel SO strong that you’ll defend a terrorist organization, one that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people? Isn’t it time to let that go?” pic.twitter.com/PKYPKdeRna
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) December 7, 2018
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.”
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said the countries that rejected the draft resolution should be ashamed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended those that voted in favor.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)