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

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The U.N. General Assembly voted on Thursday against a resolution sponsored by US ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the Palestinian Hamas group as a terrorist organization.

The vote ultimately failed to cross the higher threshold, with 87 nations voting in favor and 57 voting against.

The resolution required two-thirds support and while Assembly resolutions are non-binding, they can carry political weight.

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".

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. "For true peace and security in the entire region, isn't it time for both sides to let this go?"

Fifty-seven countries opposed the measure and 33 abstained.

It also reaffirmed "unwavering support" for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - issues that were not included in the USA draft.

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Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour blasted "punitive" US policies directed at Palestinians, such as the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

If adopted, it would mark the first time the assembly has taken aim at Hamas, the Islamist militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended those that voted in favor.

The Israeli diplomat also thanked his United States counterpart, Ambassador Nikki Haley, for her "close cooperation in fighting for the truth that led to the formation of an unprecedented coalition for Israel and against terrorism". "I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for the initiative".

Hamas praised the outcome of the vote, describing it as a "slap" to President Donald Trump's administration which has taken a firm pro-Israeli stance in addressing the Middle East peace process. "The victory will be in addition to the Palestinian right, no matter how long".

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". "Is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you'll defend a terrorist organization?" she asked.

Danon said he has had discussions with some of the Arab ambassadors in the United Nations, and they are unhappy with the support Hamas is getting from Tehran, and the fact that the PA is cooperating with Iran, seen by some of these countries - such as Saudi Arabia - as their mortal enemy. Similarly, there should be no decision that a two-thirds majority applies now.

"The resolution itself was just transparently Israeli talking points - it didn't mention the military occupation, the siege of Gaza, Israel's daily attacks against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank". This is a decision meant purely to disrupt the adoption of the resolution that the United States has put forward.

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