Sunday, 17 February, 2019

United Nations scorched by Haley, Israel as member states shield Hamas from condemnation

Palestinians step on flags and hold banners during a demonstration in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip Palestinians step on flags and hold banners during a demonstration in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
Kenny Thornton | 07 December, 2018, 22:02

The U.N. General Assembly voted on Thursday against a resolution sponsored by USA ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the Palestinian Hamas group as a terrorist organization.

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.

The resolution won a majority of 87 to 57, with 33 abstentions, but did not reach the required two-thirds backing.

A bid championed by US Ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the Palestinian Hamas movement at the United Nations for firing rockets at Israel failed to secure enough votes for adoption on Thursday.

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.

The resolution failed to be adopted Thursday as it could not garner two-thirds support in the General Assembly.

Haley said that, in an average year, the UN General Assembly votes on a resolution opposing Israel twenty times.

"The broad support from the world demonstrates the changes we have made in the UN", Danon said. "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 Ambassador Haley for her close cooperation in fighting for the truth that led to the formation of an unprecedented coalition for Israel and against terrorism".

The results of a vote are seen on display boards at the General Assembly hall, on December 21, 2017, at UN Headquarters in NY.

Dow dives almost 800 points on fears of economic slowdown
The slide in bond yields, which affect interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, weighed on bank stocks. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, added 0.6 percent to close at $62.08 per barrel in London.

The overwhelming support for the Irish resolution reflects global support for action "without delay" toward an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a two-state solution.

If adopted, it would mark the first time the assembly has taken aim at Hamas, the Islamist militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Furthermore, she noted, "before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must be on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemning Hamas terrorism".

Israel and Hamas have gone to war three times.

The European Union, like the United States, considers Hamas a terror group.

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

The US defeat at the General Assembly came as the Trump administration prepares to unveil long-awaited peace proposals, possibly in the first months of next year. And it reaffirms "unwavering support. for the two-state solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, based on the pre-1967 borders".

Haley called condemnation of Hamas "an essential step" to a peace settlement.

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