UN General Assembly rejects US-backed resolution to condemn Hamas

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A United Nations resolution condemning Hamas was always going to fail and should have been dropped because Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador, never had the votes for the required two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.

While the majority of the U.N.'s general assembly voted for the resolution Thursday, the United States and outgoing ambassador Nikki Haley were outflanked procedurally, losing a vote beforehand requiring a two-thirds approval for the resolution to pass, instead of a simple majority.

In a symbolic stride, the US resolution did garner support by a majority of members, but failed because it required a supermajority.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the assembly before the vote that it could make history and unconditionally speak out against Hamas, which she called "one of the most obvious and grotesque cases of terrorism in the world".

Still, don't underestimate the significance of the 87-57 vote (with 33 abstentions and 23 no-shows) citing Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel" and calling on it and Islamic Jihad to "cease all provocative actions and violent activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices".

"Israel is in contravention of all Security Council and General Assembly resolutions", its representative said.

She urged United Nations member states to take a stance against one of the "most obvious and grotesque cases of terrorism in the world", referring to the Palestinian faction.

After the US draft on Hamas failed to win adoption, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the Irish resolution by a vote of 156-6, with 12 abstentions.

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She also posed the question of the resolution in stark terms: "The question before us now is whether the United Nations thinks terrorism is acceptable if, and only if, it is directed against Israel".

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says the global conscience thwarted the United States-sponsored resolution to condemn the Palestinian resistance movement at the United Nations General Assembly.

Israel says it has no choice but to enforce its blockade to defend itself against Hamas, which calls for Israel's destruction and has used Gaza as a base for missile attacks.

The assembly also adopted by a wide margin of 156 to six with 12 abstentions a Palestinian-drafted measure, presented by Ireland, calling "for the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East" based on United Nations resolutions.

Despite Riyadh's close ties to Washington, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mouallimi urged member states to reject the U.S. measure. She added, "A settlement of the conflict must meet Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, and resolve all final status issues". "Your silence in the face of evil reveals your true colors". According to Danon, who opposes the two-state solution, this was simply, "Another anti-Israel resolution". "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.

"The draft condemnation of Hamas in the UN General Assembly received a sweeping majority by countries that stood against Hamas", Netanyahu said. Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon told the assembly the vote had been hijacked by the procedural maneuver.

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