Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Vote condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Israel fails at UN

Vote condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Israel fails at UN

But the vote on the resolution to condemn Hamas was 87 in favour against 57 opposed, with 33 abstentions - a plurality but below the two-thirds requirement to adopt it.

Israeli leaders still praised the outcome as a show of wide support for their position against the terror group, which for years has targeted Israel with rockets, bombs and other attacks.

"The question before us now is whether the United Nations thinks terrorism is acceptable if, and only if, it is directed against Israel", she told the assembly.

"The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously", wrote Haley, who repeatedly has said the administration will "take names" of any countries voting against USA foreign policy.

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The Kuwaiti representative, speaking on behalf of the Arab bloc, condemned violence and extremism but expressed concern that the US draft resolution skirted any mention of a two-state solution and sought only to condemn one party in the conflict. The UN has a chance to condemn Hamas for the first time.

The US text received 87 votes in favor, 58 against, 32 abstentions and 16 countries did not vote.

But diplomats said the USA draft resolution was unlikely to win the two-thirds majority required for adoption in the 193-nation assembly.

Hamas said the failure to pass the resolution was "a serious failure for the "bullying policy" of the Trump administration adopted in the region".

"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. "That is something we should all think deeply about", she said, noting that the resolution was not a judgment one way or another on the peace process but "a foundational element of peace - that foundation is the rejection of terrorism, because we all know there can be no peace without a mutual agreement that terrorism is unacceptable". "I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative".

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".

The overwhelming support for the Irish resolution reflects global support for action "without delay" toward an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a two-state solution.

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

Following the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the "sweeping majority" of countries who voted for the draft condemnation.

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

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.

Haley called condemnation of Hamas "an essential step" to a peace settlement.

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