US resolution to condemn activities of Hamas voted down in General Assembly


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Although a majority of UN Member States voted in favour of a General Assembly resolution put forward by the United States condemning the activities of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza, it failed to be adopted today (6 Dec) at UN Headquarters in New York.
The result of the vote was 87 in favour, 57 against and 33 abstentions.
General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa said, “Resolution A/73/L.42 has failed to obtain two-thirds majority.”
Speaking before the vote, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said “the United Nations has never passed a resolution condemning Hamas. Never. Over 700 resolutions condemning Israel, and not one single resolution condemning Hamas.”
The resolution condemned Hamas for “repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk”, and for its use of resources in Gaza to construct military infrastructure “including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas”.
It specified that further engagement by the UN Secretary-General, and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in efforts to de-escalate the situation in Gaza, was also needed.
A procedural vote held before the main vote on the resolution – calling for the latter to be decided on a two-thirds majority – passed in the chamber, narrowing the odds of the resolution passing successfully.
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said “today we achieved a plurality. That plurality would have been a majority if the vote had not been highjacked by a political move of procedure. But in one strong, courageous voice, we have brought Hamas to justice.”
Danon said, “for those member states that rejected this resolution, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Wait when you will have to deal with terrorism in your own countries. Your silence in the face of evil reveals your true colours.”
For his part, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour, rejected the premise of the need to bring balance to UN resolutions regarding Israel and Palestine.
Mansour said, “there is absolutely no balance, no symmetry in this conflict. There is an occupier and an occupied people. And the rules of international law including humanitarian and human rights law are patently clear in this regard.”
He said this was “another in the list of punitive actions by the current US administration, beginning with the provocative decision on Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolutions and global consensus which was taken a year ago on this very same date.”
The US Embassy officially moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on 14 May 2018.

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