US fails in UN bid to con­demn Ha­mas

Gulf Times - - REGION/ARAB WORLD -

AUS res­o­lu­tion cham­pi­oned by am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley to con­demn the Pales­tinian Ha­mas move­ment at the United Na­tions for fir­ing rock­ets at Is­rael failed to win enough votes for adop­tion on Thurs­day.

The pro­posed mea­sure won 87 votes in the Gen­eral Assem­bly, fall­ing short of the re­quired twothirds ma­jor­ity.

Fifty-eight coun­tries op­posed the mea­sure and 32 ab­stained.

Ha­ley, who steps down from her post at the end of the year, has re­peat­edly ac­cused the United Na­tions of hav­ing an anti-Is­rael bias and has de­fended Is­rael in its lat­est con­fronta­tion with Ha­mas, the Is­lamist mil­i­tant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007. It was the first pro­posed res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing Ha­mas to be pre­sented to the 193-na­tion assem­bly, which has been meet­ing since 1946.

Speak­ing ahead of the vote, Ha­ley said the mea­sure “would right a his­toric wrong” and “put the Gen­eral Assem­bly on the side of truth and bal­ance in the ef­fort to achieve peace in the Mid­dle East.”

“The ques­tion be­fore us now is whether the UN thinks ter­ror­ism is ac­cept­able if, and only if, it is di­rected against Is­rael,” she told the assem­bly.

Ha­mas praised the out­come of the vote, de­scrib­ing it as a “slap” to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion which has taken a firm pro-Is­raeli stance in ad­dress­ing the Mid­dle East peace process. “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,” Ha­mas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri wrote on Twit­ter, us­ing a phrase com­monly used to re­fer to armed groups that op­pose Is­rael.

Is­raeli Am­bas­sador Danny Danon lamented af­ter the vote that a de­ci­sion to con­demn Ha­mas had been “hi­jacked” by pro­ce­dural votes and hailed the “broad sup­port from the world” for con­demn­ing Ha­mas.

Kuwait had asked the assem­bly, on be­half of Arab coun­tries, to re­quire a two-thirds ma­jor­ity, which was nar­rowly en­dorsed by a vote of 75 in favour, 72 against in­clud­ing EU coun­tries and 26 ab­sten­tions.

The United States had won cru­cial back­ing from the Euro­pean Union, with all 28 coun­tries sup­port­ing the US mea­sure that would have con­demned Ha­mas for fir­ing rock­ets into Is­rael and de­manded an end to the vi­o­lence.

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 UN res­o­lu­tions.

The United States, Is­rael, Aus­tralia, Liberia, Mar­shall Is­lands and Nauru voted against that mea­sure. The vote at the assem­bly took place as Ha­ley pre­pares to step away from pub­lic life even as polls show she re­mains one of the most pop­u­lar mem­bers of Trump’s cab­i­net.

Ha­ley rat­tled the United Na­tions when she ar­rived in Jan­uary 2017 vow­ing that the United States will be “tak­ing names” of coun­tries that op­pose Trump’s for­eign pol­icy.

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