US Resolution To Condemn Hamas Voted Down In UN General Assembly

US resolution to condemn Hamas voted down in UN General Assembly

In a blow to the United States, the U.N. General Assembly has rejected a US-sponsored resolution seeking to condemn Hamas, the Palestinian group administering the besieged Gaza Strip

UNITED NATIONS, (Pakistan Point News - 7th Dec, 2018 ) :In a blow to the United States, the U.N. General Assembly has rejected a US-sponsored resolution seeking to condemn Hamas, the Palestinian group administering the besieged Gaza Strip.

The US resolution, which was backed strongly by Israel, needed a two-thirds majority to pass on Thursday following an earlier vote in the 193-member assembly.

The proposal failed to cross the threshold, with 87 nations voting in favour and 57 voting against. Thirty-three countries abstained.

Most of the "no" votes came from the Arab and Muslim world, while much of the West backed the resolution.

China and Russia were among those voting the measure down. India, which has forged strong relations with Israel, abstained.

The earlier vote to require a two-thirds majority that followed a procedural move requested by Kuwait, was much closer: 75-72, with 26 abstentions.

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." Haley, who will step down at the end of the year, has been a staunch defender of Israel.

Ahead of the vote at the the tense session, Haley said, "Before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemn Hamas terrorism." Haley told the body before the vote.

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.

The amendment outlined the basis for comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace and referred to a December 2016 Security Council resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation" of international law.

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

However, before the vote on the US draft resolution, Bolivian Ambassador Sasha Llorentty Soliz withdrew the amendment.

That was because the Palestinians and their supporters wanted a vote instead on a short rival resolution sponsored by Ireland that included the exact language of the amendment.

After the US draft on Hamas was not adopted, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the Irish resolution by a vote of 156-6, with 12 abstentions.

It called for "the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the middle East" on the basis of UN resolutions, singling out the December 2016 measure, and 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." The two rival resolutions reflect the deep divisions among the 193 UN member states over the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the failure to end it.

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

The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, Riyadh Mansour, reaffirming his gratitude to all Member States that have stood by the rights of the Palestinian people, said the strong support for the resolution was an unequivocal affirmation, especially significant in view of actions aimed at eroding the global consensus for a just solution for the Palestinian people and a two�'State solution.

Thanking Ireland for presenting the text, he said peace negotiations cannot be credible if detached from the United Nations. The resolutions are not one-sided or anti-Israel; they are pro-peace pieces of legislation, he stressed.

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