UN General Assembly rejects US-backed resolution to condemn Hamas

Haley not going out with a bang after US-sponsored anti Hamas draft fails at UNGA

A U.S. 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.

At the center of the American proposal, formulated together with Israel, was the condemnation of Hamas rocket fire and its use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes against Israel.

She stressed that Hamas' charter "openly calls for the destruction of Israel" and cited a variety of "barbaric terrorist tactics" it has used including suicide bombers and thousands of rockets, flaming kites and balloons. But it abstained on the final vote because its vote wouldn't have made a difference - a two-thirds majority was a bridge too far.

A Hamas spokesman said in a statement late Thursday that the result of the vote was a "slap" to the US administration.

Hamas's senior official, Khalil al-Haya, said that the result was a "victory for the Palestinian resistance in spite of American bullying".

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 demands an end to the violence.

That draft resolution calls "for the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East" based on United Nations resolutions.

Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon said the countries that rejected the draft resolution should be ashamed.

"Regardless of what any country in this chamber thinks a future peace settlement should look like", Haley said, "support for this resolution is an essential step to achieving it". "The U.N. had a chance to do that today, and it failed".

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Haley told the assembly before the vote that it could make history and unconditionally speak out against Hamas, which she called "one of the most obvious and grotesque cases of terrorism in the world". This was echoed by his counterpart with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Tala Abu Zarifa, who suggested that the failure to get the resolution adopted, "is a victory for global justice and the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance".

"Your silence in the face of evil reveals your true colors", he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended the 87 countries that voted in favor.

"That, more than anything else, is a condemnation of the United Nations itself", she said in the chamber.

She has defended Israel in its latest confrontation with Hamas, the Islamist group which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007 and has fought three wars with Israel since then.

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.

"I want to take a personal moment, and ask my Arab brothers and sisters: Is the hatred that strong?"

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.

The Arabs know all about Hamas but in their calculation, the time for a complete capitulation to Israeli diktats on how the peace process should unfold has not yet come, no matter what Haley and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law who is in charge of sorting out the Middle East, believe.

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