UNGA Adopts Resolution Calling for End to Israel’s Occupation of Palestine

Sergio Conner
December 7, 2018

A US-sponsored draft resolution that would have condemned the militant Islamic group Hamas, which controls Gaza, failed to win the required two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

A US bid at the United Nations to condemn the Palestinian Hamas movement for firing rockets at Israel failed to secure enough votes for adoption on Thursday, despite European backing.

The last time the USA put forth a motion condemning Hamas, in June, the vote was 62-58 in favor, with 42 abstentions - a smaller plurality that also failed to reach a 2/3 threshold.

But diplomats said the USA draft resolution was unlikely to win the two-thirds majority required for adoption in the 193-nation assembly. "Just last Friday there was no decision that resolutions under this same agenda item had to be adopted by a two-thirds vote".

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused the Arab countries behind adopting the two-thirds majority procedural rule of "double standards" and condemned the UN's failure to respond to terrorist acts against Israel. "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".

It called for "the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East" on the basis of United Nations resolutions, singling out the December 2016 measure, and 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".

The representative of Kuwait called for respecting relevant United Nations resolutions in efforts to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and stressed the importance of a two State solution based on pre-1967 borders. I thank the American administration and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative.

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Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are non-binding, but they carry political weight and are seen as a barometer of world opinion.

A number of States explained their reasons for voting against the resolution. This is a very important achievement for the U.S. and Israel. One that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people?

The European Union, like the United States, considers Hamas a terror group. Before the vote, she sent a letter to the missions of all 193 UN member nations asking them to support the USA resolution.

The US defeat at the General Assembly came as the Trump administration prepares to unveil new peace proposals that the Palestinians have already rejected.

In this file photo taken on June 13, 2018 Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon speaks to the General Assembly. And he said it would also turn attention away from Israel's occupation, settlement activities and "blockade" - whether in Gaza, the West Bank or east Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their future capital.

"Israel had a simple majority".

"The UN has a chance to condemn Hamas for the first time", Haley tweeted Thursday.

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