India abstains from voting on General Assembly resolution to condemn activities of Hamas
United Nations, Dec 7 : India has abstained from voting on a UN General Assembly draft resolution put forward by the US that would have condemned 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 areas.
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.
She 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. 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.