EU expected to back U.S. resolution at U.N. condemning Hamas

It’s unclear if the EU support for the text would be enough to sway the UNGA to support the text which the US tabled on Thursday evening in New York.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to the General Assembly before a vote in the General Assembly June 13, 2018 in New York.  (photo credit: DON EMMERT / AFP)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to the General Assembly before a vote in the General Assembly June 13, 2018 in New York.
(photo credit: DON EMMERT / AFP)
The European Union is expected to back a US-sponsored resolution condemning Hamas violence against Israel that is likely to come to a vote before the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, diplomatic sources told The Jerusalem Post.
“For the first time, we are introducing a standalone resolution to condemn Hamas and other militant groups,” US Deputy Political Coordinator Leslie Ordeman told the General Assembly on Friday.
The resolution takes Hamas to task “for their indiscriminate attacks on civilians and primary role in the worsening humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, and actions to restrict free expression and silence political dissent,” he said.
Its submission is part of a new strategy by the US and Israel to combat Palestinian bias at the United Nations by attempting to amend anti-Israeli texts or submitting resolutions against Palestinian transgressions.
The Palestinians have an automatic majority in the UNGA, and the US will need support from a wider array of countries than the EU’s 28 member states if it hopes to secure the resolution’s passage.
It’s unusual for the EU to take such a strong stance against the Palestinians. Typically it prefers to show its disapproval through abstentions.
On Friday, PLO Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour urged UN member states to reject the US resolution against Hamas, when he addressed the General Assembly after it approved six anti-Israel resolutions.
“Why are they submitting this resolution?” he asked. Mansour charged that the US was being “disruptive” and “irresponsible,” and was distracting attention away from peacemaking efforts.
Mansour said this resolution had little to do with Hamas, and was part of the Trump administration’s ongoing hostility toward the Palestinians.
“I appeal to all of you to vote against it,” Mansour said. “It is trying to tell all of us that the global consensus on how to resolve this issue is no more and is not acceptable.”
He added that its sole purpose was to “name and shame.”
On Thursday, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon spoke in support of the US resolution.
“Every year the UN adopts at least 20 resolutions specifically to condemn Israel. Not a single one of these resolutions or any UNGA resolution at all, has ever included Hamas,” he noted.
“The international community has an opportunity to take a moral stance and finally condemn Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization.”
Danon spoke at Thursday’s special General Assembly debate to mark the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The US resolution on Hamas condemns its rocket fire against Israel. It “demands that Hamas and other militant actors including Palestinian Islamic Jihad cease all provocative actions and violent activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices.”
It further “condemns the use of resources by Hamas in Gaza to construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, when such resources could be used to address the critical needs of the civilian population.”
The resolution encourages the reunification of the West Bank and Gaza under the Palestinian Authority. The US text calls on all parties to respect international human rights law.”
It also affirms support for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, in accordance with international law, and bearing in mind relevant UN resolutions.”
The resolution makes no mention of a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nor does it call for the release of the two Israeli civilian captives held hostage in Gaza nor does it ask for the return of the remains of the two soldiers presumed to have been killed in Gaza during the 2014 war.
The Pakistani envoy warned the UNGA that the Hamas resolution was an “attempt to deflect the attention of the international community” and does “nothing to pave the way for peace.”
She added, “we other member states categorically reject this move and by extension this resolution.”