'Intl. conscience thwarted United States plot to condemn Hamas'

Pauline Gross
December 7, 2018

Thursday's resolution condemned Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk", and demanded that Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militant actors "cease all provocative actions and violent activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices".

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 failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the USA administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance", Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri wrote on Twitter, using a phrase commonly used to refer to armed groups that oppose Israel.

It also reaffirmed "unwavering support" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - issues that were not included in the U.S. draft.

"That plurality would have been a majority if the vote had not been hijacked by a political move of procedure", Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said after the vote.

The vote was a personal defeat for Haley in what is likely to be one of her final major actions as the USA envoy. It also reaffirmed "unwavering support" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - issues not included in the USA draft.

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". I thank the American administration and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative.

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Danon said he has had discussions with some of the Arab ambassadors in the United Nations, and they are unhappy with the support Hamas is getting from Tehran, and the fact that the PA is cooperating with Iran, seen by some of these countries - such as Saudi Arabia - as their mortal enemy. Support from the Arab states is considered crucial to getting it launched, and the United Nations vote suggests it might get a standoffish reception.

Bahr then congratulated Palestinians and Hamas resistance movement for the great victory on the worldwide level, calling on people from all strata of the Palestinian society to unite, end division and vigorously support resistance movements.

Before the final vote, Haley reminded the chamber that last Friday the General Assembly voted six times in one day to condemn Israel. This is a very important achievement for the USA and Israel.

By contrast, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the "large majority" - 87 countries - "that took a stance against Hamas" for the first time, calling it "an important achievement for the United States and Israel". In recent months, the militant group has fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

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.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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