India abstains from voting on UNGA resolution over Hamas activities
India 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 favor, 58 against with 32 abstentions. It couldn't garner two-thirds support in UNGA and thus failed to be adopted.
Resolution would have condemned Hamas for repeated attacks on Israel
India was among the 32 countries that abstained from voting on the resolution. The resolution 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.
Resolution needed further engagement by other senior UN representatives
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.
Nikki Haley said resolution was opportunity to do right thing
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. Haley 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".
People who've suffered the most are the Palestinian people: Haley
"There's nothing more anti-Semitic than saying we cannot condemn terrorism against Israel, while we'd not hesitate for one-minute to condemn the same acts if they were taken against any other country," Haley said. "The people who've suffered the most 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.
Those against resolution should be ashamed of themselves: Israeli Ambassador
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said the resolution had been a chance for "UN redemption" and that those against it "should be ashamed of themselves". He said Hamas is in flagrant violation of international law. There's no difference between Hamas, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, he said, adding that as the Jewish people are celebrating Hanukkah, the plurality of Member States has chosen to condemn Hamas.
Saudi Arabia says Israel hasn't respected any General Assembly resolutions
A number of States explained their reasons for voting against the resolution. The Saudi Arabian representative stated that, since 1967, Israel hasn't respected any General Assembly or Security Council resolutions, whilst Kuwait and Iran's representatives said that the resolution "ignores" root causes of the conflict.
Kuwait stressed on importance of two-State solution between Israel, Palestine
Kuwait representative stressed the importance of a two-State solution based on pre-1967 borders. After action had been taken on the drafts, the Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine said the strong support for the 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 Palestinians.