Despite majority support, Haley fails in United Nations bid to condemn Hamas

Scott Morrison

The United Nations General Assembly has rejected a United States-sponsored resolution seeking to condemn Hamas, the Palestinian group administering the besieged Gaza Strip.

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 demands an end to the violence.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon lamented after the vote that a decision to condemn Hamas had been "hijacked" by a procedural motion that required adoption by a two-thirds majority, instead of a simple majority.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's released a statement following the vote praising the countries that did vote to condemn Hamas despite the resolution's failure.

A vote to require a two-thirds majority was narrowly backed by 75 to 72, with 26 abstentions.

"She would like to go out with something", said a Security Council diplomat of the US-drafted resolution.

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".

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".

"She would like to go out with something", said a Security Council diplomat of the USA -drafted resolution.

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Moreover, Spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement, Daoud Shihab, said the failure of the American resolution at the United Nations represents a slap to the USA administration of President Donald Trump as well as the Zionist regime (of Israel).

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".

Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are non-binding, but they carry political weight and are seen as a barometer of world opinion.

"This resolution was really just an attempt to weaponise the United Nations against the Palestinian people, against their legitimate rights", he told Al Jazeera.

The Trump administration has been a strong supporter of Israel, recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and this year moving the United States embassy there from Tel Aviv.

When Hamas eventually took control, Israel responded by enforcing a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza and banning its residents from working in Israel.

Both Israel and the United States exerted considerable effort to convince Arab states to join in a straightforward condemnation of Hamas, calling a denouncement of terrorism a basic building block for peace talks.

Last month saw a flare-up of violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. "And yet, throughout all of this, the United Nations has never once passed a resolution condemning Hamas".

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

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