United Nations to Vote on Haley's Last Stand: Condemning Hamas
07 December, 2018, 22:06 | Author: Myra Gill
The U.N. General Assembly voted on Thursday against a resolution sponsored by US ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the Palestinian Hamas group as a terrorist organization.
The vote on the resolution was 87-57 in favor with 33 abstentions, a majority below the two-thirds that was required.
In a statement, Hamas thanked the countries that voted against the measure, and called on "all states that supported the Israeli occupation and the Trump administration to reconsider their stance and rectify their historic and great fault against the Palestinian people".
It was the first proposed resolution condemning Hamas to be presented to the 193-nation assembly, which has been meeting since 1946.
Haley said that, in an average year, the UN General Assembly votes on a resolution opposing Israel twenty times.
The outgoing envoy, a staunch defender of Israel, 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".
The last time the U.S. 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.
"You should be ashamed of yourselves, wait until you have to deal with terrorism in your own countries", Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon told the chamber.
The two-thirds majority that prevented passage of the resolution was advanced by Kuwait on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and approved by a 75-72 vote with 26 abstentions.
The resolution condemned Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk".
The European Union, like the United States, considers Hamas a terror group.
It calls for "the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East" on the basis of United Nations resolutions, singling out the December 2016 measure, and 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". But all the Arab states voted against it, even those that have signed peace treaties with Israel and are otherwise seeing warming relations with Jerusalem.
US President Donald Trump has made a decision to name State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the ambassador to the United Nations, a source.
She described the two-thirds decision, which passed by just a handful of votes, as "unfair" adding that the Hamas resolution was an opportunity for States to "do the right thing".
It also reaffirmed "unwavering support" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - issues that were not included in the USA draft.
Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are non-binding, however, they carry political weight and are seen as a barometer of world opinion.
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.
The Palestinians have severed ties with the Trump administration after the decision a year ago to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel's capital.
The amendment 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. Worldwide consensus has been that Jerusalem's status must be negotiated between the two sides.
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