US resolution condemning Hamas over Israel fails at United Nations

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In a blow to Nikki Haley in her final weeks as USA ambassador to the United Nations, the General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly adopted a resolution calling for an end to the Israeli occupation just after the body rejected a US resolution condemning Hamas.

The resolution, backed strongly by Israel and the US, needed a two-thirds majority to pass following an earlier vote in the assembly.

The resolution needed a two-thirds majority of the 193-member body to pass Thursday. It also reaffirmed "unwavering support" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - issues not included in the USA draft.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley, in New Delhi.

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".

The Palestinians sought to thwart the USA move by presenting an amendment to the U.S. text to include a reference to United Nations resolutions that condemn Israeli settlements, call for negotiations on East Jerusalem and pledge support for the two-state solution.

Bahr then congratulated Palestinians and Hamas resistance movement for the great victory on the global level, calling on people from all strata of the Palestinian society to unite, end division and vigorously support resistance movements.

"While it did not achieve a two-thirds majority, this is the first time that a majority of countries have voted against Hamas and I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley in New Delhi. Credit PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley in New Delhi. Credit PTI

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.

It called for "the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East" on the basis of United Nations 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".

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat pointed out that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah faction had played a role in thwarting the United States resolution. "Israel has no respect for this organization of which it is a member". The ambassador for Saudi Arabia was fierce in his criticism of Israel. "Your silence in the face of evil reveals your true colors".

Habib accused Israel of turning Gaza into an "uninhabitable, open-air prison" that is not fit for humans in order to collectively punish Palestinians. The U.S. text does not refer specifically to the two-state solution.

In this file photo taken on June 13, 2018 Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon speaks to the General Assembly. According to Danon, who opposes the two-state solution, this was simply, "Another anti-Israel resolution".

He said Hamas exploits the people of Gaza, adding that the organisation is in flagrant violation of global law. "The victory will be in addition to the Palestinian right, no matter how long".

US President Donald Trump has made a decision to name State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the ambassador to the United Nations, a source.

Before the final vote, Haley reminded the chamber that last Friday the General Assembly voted six times in one day to condemn Israel.

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