India abstains from voting on General Assembly resolution to condemn activities of Hamas in Gaza

India abstains from voting on General
Assembly resolution to condemn activities of Hamas (File

India has abstained from voting on a US-sponsored UN General
Assembly draft resolution that would have condemned for the
first time the activities of Hamas and other militant groups in
Gaza. The resolution ‘Activities of Hamas and other militant
groups in Gaza’ got 87 votes in favour, 58 against with 32
abstentions. The resolution failed to be adopted Thursday as it
could not garner two-thirds support in the General Assembly.
India was among the 32 countries that abstained from voting on
the resolution which would have condemned Hamas for “repeatedly
firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby
putting civilians at risk”, and for its use of resources in
Gaza to construct military infrastructure including tunnels to
infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian

The resolution had specified that further engagement by the UN
Secretary-General, and the UN Special Coordinator for the
Middle East Peace Process, in efforts to de-escalate the
situation in Gaza, was also needed. Through a procedural vote
held before the main vote on the resolution, the Assembly had
voted to apply the two-thirds majority requirement for the
adoption of the draft. Before the voting, US Permanent
Representative to the UN Nikki Haley, said that despite more
than 500 General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel, not
one condemning Hamas has ever been adopted. Hailey, the highest
ranking Indian-American in the Donald Trump administration who
is stepping down from the post at the end of this month,
described the two-thirds decision, which passed by just a
handful of votes, as “unfair” adding that the Hamas resolution
was an opportunity for States to “do the right thing.” “There
is nothing more anti-Semitic 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… The people who have suffered by far the most
because of Hamas are the Palestinian people.

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For their sake, the world should speak out against the
destruction of Hamas and what it continues to cause,” she said.
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said that the resolution had
been a chance for “UN redemption” and that those who had voted
against it “should be ashamed of themselves”. He said Hamas
exploits the people of Gaza, adding that the organisation is in
flagrant violation of international law. There is no difference
between Hamas, and Al-Qaida and Boko Haram, he said, adding
that as the Jewish people are celebrating Hanukkah, the
plurality of Member States of the United Nations has chosen to
condemn Hamas. A number of States explained their reasons for
voting against the resolution. The Saudi Arabian representative
stated that, since 1967, Israel has not respected any General
Assembly or Security Council resolutions, whilst Kuwait and
Iran’s representatives said that the resolution “ignores” and
“deflects attention from” the root causes of the conflict. 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. Speaking after
action had been taken on the drafts, the Permanent Observer for
the State of Palestine said the strong support for draft that
was adopted was an unequivocal affirmation, especially
significant in view of actions aimed at eroding the global
consensus for a just solution for the Palestinian people.

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