A US-sponsored draft resolution seeking to condemn Palestinian resistance group Hamas at the United Nations General Assembly has failed to gain a majority vote.
The 193-member UNGA voted 87-57 in favor of the resolution Thursday while 33 members chose to abstain, leaving Washington with a plurality vote that fell short of the two-thirds requirement to adopt the resolution.
The US had originally called for a simple majority vote, but the world body opted for a two-third majority instead after a narrow 75-72 vote, with 26 abstentions.
The resolution attempted to condemn Hamas for carrying out rocket attacks against Israel and using “airborne incendiary devices” against Israelis living in occupied Palestinian lands.
The resolution came weeks after Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups fired over 400 rockets into Israel during a two-day flare-up of violence following a botched Israeli attack against a Hamas commander.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said before the vote that the assembly could make history condemning Hamas, which she referred to as “one of the most obvious and grotesque cases of terrorism in the world.”
“For the sake of peace, and for the sake of this organization, I respectfully urge my colleagues to support this resolution,” she said.
“The General Assembly has passed 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,” she added.
China and Russia were among those voting the measure down. India abstained despite having recently forged warmer ties with the Tel Aviv regime. The measure was welcomed in Europe and the Americas.
After the US draft’s failure, the UNGA voted 156-6 to adopt an Irish resolution that called for “the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East” on the basis of UN resolutions, specially the December 2016 measure.
The resolution also reaffirmed “unwavering support” for a two-state solution along “the pre-1967 borders.”
Tel Aviv tried to undermine the defeat, with Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon saying that a majority vote was within reach had the vote “not been hijacked by a political move of procedure.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also hailed the 87 countries for taking “a principled stand against Hamas.”
Hamas hails ‘slap’ to Trump
Following the vote, Hamas hailed the failure of the resolution as a “slap” to US President Donald Trump’s administration.
“The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the US administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance,” the group’s spokesman Sami Abu Zahri wrote on Twitter.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also commended the outcome.
“The presidency thanked all the states that voted against the American draft resolution, affirming that it will not allow for the condemnation of the Palestinian national struggle,” the PA’s office said in a statement.