United Nations rejects U.S. proposal to condemn Hamas

An Israeli soldier aims at a Palestinian protester following a weekly demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum near Nablus in the occupied West Bank

A U.S. resolution championed by Ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the Palestinian Hamas movement at the United Nations for firing rockets at Israel failed to win enough votes for adoption on Thursday. This was despite the USA "warning" countries which planned to vote against the proposal.

"The General Assembly has never said anything - not one thing - about Hamas, even when we all agree Hamas' behavior undermines any prospects for peace". At one stage, Haley seemed to be begging member states not to oppose the U.S. text.

Business as usual, that is, in a body that has passed over 700 resolutions condemning Israel - yet not one calling out Hamas.

In this file photo taken on June 13, 2018 Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon speaks to the General Assembly.

While the US-backed draft resolution got a comfortable majority of votes, it fell short of the two-thirds super-majority needed to pass. Eighty-seven countries voted in favor of the resolution, while 57 opposed it. Thirty-three countries abstained and another 23 were not present.

Haaretz called the failure to pass the resolution a blow to the USA and Israel.

"We must never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb - we can not let the world's leading sponsor of terror, a regime that chants death to America and threatens Israel all of the time with annihilation and constantly screams out death to Israel, to possess the deadliest weapon on earth", urged the president.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused the Arab countries behind adopting the two-thirds majority procedural rule of "double standards" and condemned the UN's failure to respond to terrorist acts against Israel.

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"We thank the United States, we thank Ambassador Haley for her strong support", he further added.

It was still significant that a majority of countries in the General Assembly voted to condemn Hamas - a first in the history of the UN. One that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people? It was also a common stand against global attempts to undermine those rights, including - as enshrined in worldwide law - the right of resistance against military occupation.

Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are non-binding, but they carry political weight and are seen as a barometer of world opinion. He reiterated that unity is the most important weapon available for the Palestinians in their "battle for freedom". Daud Shehab of Islamic Jihad described the vote as a "slap for the USA and the Israeli occupation who have been promoting lies at the global podium". Its idea of self-defense is to bomb and kill first and maybe, just maybe, ask questions later.

"Your silence in the face of evil reveals your true colors", he said.

Last month saw a flare-up of violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

"Regardless of what any country in this chamber thinks a future peace settlement should look like", Haley said, "support for this resolution is an essential step to achieving it". It also called for an end to the Israeli occupation and stressed "unwavering" support for the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders.

Haley had been working with the European Union and other regional blocs to get the support for the US resolution, which it did, Falk said. "The wise policy of the (PLO), which has fought and is still fighting to realize the hopes and aspirations of our people for freedom and independence, will remain the guardian of the national project", PLO President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement.

Hamas's senior official, Khalil al-Haya, said that the result was a "victory for the Palestinian resistance in spite of American bullying".

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