Who Won the Vote on Hamas?

Yesterday the 193 nations that make up the General Assembly of United Nations faced a vote on a resolution that condemned Hamas “for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk.”

87 countries voted in favour of the resolution and 58 against – a ratio of 3 in favour to 2 against.

UN General Assembly on 6th December 2018UN General Assembly 6th December 2018 (Photo: UN/Loey Felipe)

However, 32 countries abstained and another 16 countries did not vote at all. Thus a procedural move initiated by Kuwait was successful in preventing the resolution from being adopted.

That procedural move proposed that a majority of two-thirds was required to adopt the resolution, rather than a simple majority. The vote on that proposal was passed by 75 votes in favour and 72 against, with 26 abstentions.

In effect, just 3 countries prevented the resolution against Hamas from being adopted.

This procedural manoeuvre enabled Hamas to claim that the vote was a failure for US President Donald Trump’s administration. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri wrote on Twitter:

“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.”

And what is most troubling about his statement is that Hamas and others now continue to see their acts of terrorism as legitimate under international law.

Analysis reveals that the resolution received widespread support from European, North American and South American countries, but every Muslim-majority nation apart from Bosnia voted against.

Despite the resolution failing to be adopted, Benjamin Netanyahu was positive about the result saying,

“The resolution to condemn Hamas garnered a large majority of nations
who stood against the terror group. We did not achieve the two-thirds majority
but I praise the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas.”