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.
The U.S. -led resolution would have condemned Hamas for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk".
The resolution, which was backed strongly by Israel, needed a two-thirds majority to pass on Thursday following an earlier vote in the assembly.
The US text received 87 votes in favor, 58 against, 32 abstentions and 16 countries did not vote.
The U.S. urged a simple majority vote on the resolution but just before the final vote, Kuwait and Bolivia were able to get a narrow majority to adopt a rule requiring a two-thirds majority for the resolution's passage which ensured its failure. "The draft resolution is adopted".
"Before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemn Hamas terrorism", Haley told the body before the vote.
In an official statement, Hamas thanked United Nations member states "that stood by our people's resistance and the justice of their cause" and attacked Haley who it said "is known for her extremism and her positions that support the Zionist terrorism in Palestine".
Mansour al-Otaibi, the permanent representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, said if the Israeli "occupation" of the Palestinians would end, this resolution would not be necessary. "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".
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"We thank the U.S., we thank Ambassador Haley for her strong support", he further added.
The results of a vote are seen on display boards at the General Assembly hall, on December 21, 2017, at UN Headquarters in NY. One that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people?
A number of States explained their reasons for voting against the resolution.
When Hamas eventually took control, Israel responded by enforcing a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza and banning its residents from working in Israel. He said all resolutions put forth by the Palestinians seek balance, and he thanked countries that did not follow the United States call to condemn Hamas.
Both Israel and the United States exerted considerable effort to convince Arab states to join in a straightforward condemnation of Hamas, calling a denouncement of terrorism a basic building block for peace talks.
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.
Following the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the "sweeping majority" of countries who voted for the draft condemnation.
Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon said the countries that rejected the draft resolution should be ashamed.