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07 December 2018, 10:06 | Darnell Patrick
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley fails to secure a resolution condemning Hamas. Credit REUTERS
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says the global conscience thwarted the United States-sponsored resolution to condemn the Palestinian resistance movement at the United Nations General Assembly.
The United States had won crucial backing from the European Union, with all 28 countries supporting the USA measure that would have condemned Hamas for firing rockets into Israel and demanded an end to the violence.
The proposal failed to cross the threshold, with 87 nations voting in favour and 57 voting against.
A vote to require a two-thirds majority was narrowly backed by 75 to 72, with 26 abstentions.
Their refusal to back the USA resolution comes just weeks before the White House prepares to unveil a proposal to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
The resolution said it would be supporting "just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians", CBS News' Pamela Falk reports.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said the resolution had been hijacked by this procedural decision. "That is something we should all think deeply about", she said, noting that the resolution was not a judgment one way or another on the peace process but "a foundational element of peace - that foundation is the rejection of terrorism, because we all know there can be no peace without a mutual agreement that terrorism is unacceptable". I thank the American administration and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative.
"This is a very important achievement for the USA and Israel".
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. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley in New Delhi. Credit PTI
A number of States explained their reasons for voting against the resolution.
"This resolution was really just an attempt to weaponise the United Nations against the Palestinian people, against their legitimate rights", he told Al Jazeera.
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".
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.
Both Israel and the United States exerted considerable effort to convince Arab states to join in a straightforward condemnation of Hamas, calling a denouncement of terrorism a basic building block for peace talks.
The United States is working on a long-awaited plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but the Palestinians are skeptical and have accused the Trump administration of siding with Israel on core issues.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately thanked Israel's friends in the United Nations General Assembly in a statement Thursday night.
The Saudi Arabian representative stated that, since 1967, Israel has not respected any General Assembly or Security Council resolutions, whilst Kuwait and Iran's representatives said that the resolution "ignores" and "deflects attention from" the root causes of the conflict.
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