An Astonishing International Argument

On Thursday the UN General Assembly is due to vote on a resolution that condemns the Hamas terrorist group for their repeated firing of missiles at the civilian population in southern Israel.

If adopted, this will be the first time the General Assembly has passed such a resolution against Hamas, despite widespread international recognition that it is a terrorist group. Just last week the United States won vital support from the European Union for the draft resolution, gaining the votes of 28 countries.

It is not surprising that Hamas are trying to thwart this resolution. Since gaining power in Gaza in 2007, Hamas has made many attempts to secure recognition as an acceptable governing authority. Last week Hamas’ leader, Ismail Haniyah, wrote a letter to the President of the UN General Assembly appealing against the proposed resolution.

But what should surprise many is that Ismail Haniyah appeals to the members of the UN General Assembly to:

‘stand by international legitimacy in support for the right of peoples to
defend themselves and thwart these aggressive American endeavours.’

He brands the American move to have a resolution passed within the UN as an act of aggression; and at the same time he claims that Hamas have the right to ‘defend’ the people of Gaza with weapons!

Even more surprising is that Haniyah claims previous UN resolutions legitimise Hamas’ terrorist activities to achieve their right to self-determination. In other words Hamas claim that international law gives them the right to fire missiles at the neighbouring civilian population.

Nor does Hamas stand alone with this view, according to Osama Qawassmeh, spokesman for Hamas’ rivals Fatah,

“We will stand against all hostile efforts to condemn Hamas at the United Nations.”

Apparently Fatah is prepared to ‘put aside its differences with Hamas in order to reject the resolution ...’

Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki confirmed their view about legitimate resistance on Palestinian TV last month, quoting UN resolution 3236 as ‘recognising the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means.’

But Hamas, Fatah and all their political supporters have overlooked the fact that the UN Charter itself prohibits the targeting of civilians, even in war. Article 1 of the charter makes it clear that international disputes are to be settled by peaceful means.

So the fact that there is an international argument over this issue is astonishing. Will a majority of the members of the General Assembly recognise that Hamas and Fatah are actually attempting to use UN resolutions to legitimise terrorism?