NEW YORK—All European Union member states supported a U.S. resolution condemning Hamas in the United Nations General Assembly. But the resolution, supported by a majority of 87 to Q57, with 33 abstentions, (UNGA) failed to pass a US sponsored resolution yesterday condemning Hamas. The resolution was supported by a majority of 87 to 57, with 33 abstentions failed to pass as it required a a two-thirds majority in order to be adopted.
Twenty minutes before the vote, the UNGA held a separate vote on the size of the majority the resolution would need to pass. The US asked that a simple majority would be required, but Kuwait asked for a two-thirds majority. The Kuwaiti request won by a slim majority.
The US-backed resolution was titled “Activities of Hamas and Other Militant Groups in Gaza”. The resolution condemned Hamas for “repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk.” It demanded that: “Hamas and other militant actors including Palestinian Islamic Jihad cease all provocative actions and violent activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices.” It also condemned Hamas’s use of resources in Gaza to “construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, when such resources could be used to address the critical needs of the civilian population.”
In remarks delivered ahead of the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikky Haley — who will be leaving her post at the end of the year — said, “What this resolution does is stand for 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.”
“The United Nations has never once passed a resolution condemning Hamas,” Haley pointed out. “Over 700 resolutions condemning Israel, and not one single resolution condemning Hamas. That, more than anything else, is a condemnation of the United Nations itself.”
“What the UN chooses to do today will speak volumes about each country’s seriousness when it comes to condemning antisemitism, because there is nothing more antisemitic than saying terrorism is not terrorism when it’s used against the Jewish people and the Jewish state,” Haley added. “There is nothing more antisemitic than saying we cannot condemn terrorism against Israel, while we would not hesitate for one minute to condemn the same acts if they were taken against any other country.”
In a statement following the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that this was the “first time” that there was a “sweeping majority of countries “ who stood up against Hamas.
He said : “The draft condemnation of Hamas in the UN General Assembly received a sweeping majority by countries that stood against Hamas. While it did not achieve a two-thirds majority, this is the first time that a majority of countries have voted against Hamas and I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas. This is a very important achievement for the US and Israel. I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative.”