UN rejects US-drafted resolution to condemn Hamas

TheĀ US-sponsored resolution condemning militant group Hamas for firing rockets into Israel has failed to pass at the UN General Assembly.

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

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

A Hamas spokesman said the outcome was a “slap” to President Donald Trump’s administration.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that although the two-thirds was not achieved, this was the first time there was a “sweeping majority of countries” who had stood up against Hamas.

Resolutions at the UN can carry political weight but are non-binding.

This resolution was the first condemning Hamas that the 193-nation assembly had considered. Hamas, or its military wing, is designated as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US, EU, and UK, as well as other powers.

Its supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement which came to power through elections, last held in 2006.

Ahead of the vote, Haley, who steps down at the end of the year, said she wanted to “ask my Arab brothers and sisters – is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you’ll defend a terrorist organisation? One that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people?”

A vote to require a two-thirds majority was narrowly backed by 75 to 72, with 26 abstentions.

Sami Abu Zahri, a spokesman for Hamas, the militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, wrote on Twitter after the vote: “The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the US administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance.”

Israel and Hamas have gone to war three times.

The Trump administration has been a strong supporter of Israel, recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and this year moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.

 

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