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UN General Assembly rejects U.S. resolution to condemn Hamas

UN General Assembly rejects U.S. resolution to condemn Hamas

A USA 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.

The US attempt to condemn Hamas and demand that the militant group stop firing rockets into Israel, using "airborne incendiary devices", and putting civilians at risk sparked a Palestinian-backed amendment sponsored by Bolivia.

On Thursday, the US-sponsored resolution against Hamas failed to cross the threshold, with 87 nations voting in favor and 57 voting against, while 33 countries abstained.

"The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the U.S. 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.

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

Hours later, Danon told i24NEWS that "When it comes to Israel, you always have no rules, in the United Nations, but we're proud of the result, 87 is a plurality of member states who came and voted to condemn Hamas".

The vote was a personal defeat for Haley in what is likely to be one of her final major actions as the US envoy. "Over 700 resolutions condemning Israel, and not one single resolution condemning Hamas. I thank Ambassador Haley for her close cooperation in fighting for the truth that led to the formation of an unprecedented coalition for Israel and against terrorism".

Ahead of the vote, the USA ambassador sent a letter to all U.N. missions to make clear that "the United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously".

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

Furthermore, she noted, "before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must be on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemning Hamas terrorism". Isn't it time to let that go?

Danny Danon, the Israeli envoy to the United Nations, scolded the states that rejected the resolution.

Both the United States and European Union have classified Hamas as a terrorist group.

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

The US defeat at the General Assembly came as the Trump administration prepares to unveil new peace proposals that the Palestinians have already rejected. And he said it would also turn attention away from Israel's occupation, settlement activities and "blockade" - whether in Gaza, the West Bank or east Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their future capital. Before the vote, she sent a letter to the missions of all 193 UN member nations asking them to support the USA resolution.

The United States and Israel voted against the resolution in addition to Australia, Liberia, Marshall Islands, and Nauru.