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U.S. fails to win enough support at United Nations to condemn Hamas
07 December 2018, 11:13 | Glen Norman
A number of States explained their reasons for voting against the resolution.
"What the United Nations chooses to do today will speak volumes about each country's seriousness when it comes to condemning anti-Semitism", she said.
Both the United States and European Union have classified Hamas as a terrorist group.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's released a statement following the vote praising the countries that did vote to condemn Hamas despite the resolution's failure.
Hamas, which won the last Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, says it's the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and is engaged in resistance against the Israeli occupation. It also reaffirmed "unwavering support" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - issues not included in the US draft.
While General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, they are seen as an important barometer of world opinion.
For more than a decade Gaza has been controlled by Hamas under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
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It was the first-ever proposed resolution condemning Hamas to be presented to the 193-nation assembly.
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon put a positive note on the result, arguing that the resolution would have been adopted "had it not been hijacked by a political move of procedure". "One that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people?"
In a statement early Friday, Hamas thanked the states that voted against the resolution and rebuked those who voted in favor.
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".
Outgoing US Ambassador to the United NationsNikki Haley had written to member states on Monday to urge them to vote for the US-drafted text, warning them: "The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously".
The Palestinian Liberation Organization, meanwhile, celebrated the failure of the resolution, saying it proves that the world stands with Palestinians.
He added that the measure would take the world's attention away from the main issues in the conflict, namely the Israeli occupation, illegal Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and the siege on the Palestinian territories, including Gaza.
Speaking on behalf of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, Mouallimi denounced rockets against Israeli civilians but said the proposed resolution aims to provide cover for Israeli violations against Palestinians.
The Palestinians have long enjoyed broad support in the UN General Assembly.
The Palestinians have severed ties with the Trump administration since the decision a year ago to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel's capital.
Fatah vice chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul, vice chairman of Abbas's Fatah faction, called the resolution's failure to pass "a major Palestinian victory", in a comment posted on Fatah's official Facebook page.
That was because the Palestinians and their supporters wanted a vote instead on a short rival resolution entitled "Comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East" sponsored by Ireland that included the exact language of the amendment - but no mention of Hamas.
"She would like to go out with something", said a Security Council diplomat of the US-drafted resolution.
Palestinians had initially sought to thwart the U.S. move by presenting an amendment to the USA 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. It passed by a wide margin.
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