United Nations to Vote on Haley's Last Stand: Condemning Hamas

U.S. fails to win UN condemnation of Hamas militants in Gaza

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

The resolution condemned Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk".

The Assembly voted 87 in favor, 57 against, and 33 abstaining, to condemn the Palestinian faction dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Before the vote on the resolution, the 193-member world body had narrowly voted to require a two-thirds majority for approval as sought by Arab nations for rather than the simple majority urged by the United States.

In negotiations with the Europeans, the United States agreed to add a mention of "relevant U.N. resolutions" in its draft, but without specifying which ones.

Before the voting, US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley said that despite more than 500 General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel, not one condemning Hamas has ever been adopted.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said that the resolution had been a chance for "UN redemption" and that those who had voted against it "should be ashamed of themselves".

Mansour al-Otaibi, the permanent representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, said if the Israeli "occupation" of the Palestinians would end, this resolution would not be necessary.

But before the vote on the USA draft resolution, Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Llorenty Soliz withdrew the amendment.

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Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, reflecting the Arab view, said the USA resolution would "undermine the two-state solution which we aspire to".

Danon said the Palestinian demand for the resolution to pass by a two-thirds margin shows their level of concern at the precedent of the UN General Assembly - which is widely viewed as their "home court" - passing a resolution against them.

Ahead of the vote, the US ambassador sent a letter to all U.N. missions to make clear that "the United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously". Support from the Arab states is considered crucial to getting it launched, and the United Nations vote suggests it might get a standoffish reception.

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

The Kuwaiti representative, speaking on behalf of the Arab bloc, condemned violence and extremism but expressed concern that the US draft resolution skirted any mention of a two-state solution and sought only to condemn one party in the conflict.

Both the United States and European Union have classified Hamas as a terrorist group. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended those that voted in favor.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party has been locked in a power struggle with Hamas, welcomed the resolution's defeat saying, "The Palestinian presidency will not allow for the condemnation of the national Palestinian struggle".

Diplomats from nine Arab countries were sent letters by Jason Greenblatt, the White House envoy who is working with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser, on the administration's peace proposal.

Israel captured Gaza in the 1967 Middle East war but withdrew in 2005, while holding onto most of the separate West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule.

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