Arab nations outmaneuvered the United States at the UN to defeat a resolution it sponsored condemning Hamas by requiring a two-thirds majority for it to pass, rather than the simple majority it received.
However, a counter-motion proposed by Ireland calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of lands seized after the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six Day War, passed in the General Assembly with an overwhelming support on Thursday in a setback for Washington, which found itself isolated with only five others joining it to vote against this resolution.
India voted for the Irish resolution and abstained on the US resolution on Hamas but voted with Washington against the procedural requirement for a two-thirds majority.
US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley pushed hard for the anti-Hamas resolution that was to have capped her two-year campaign in support of Israel and against its foes before she leaves her cabinet-level post at the end of the year.
The resolution sought to condemn “Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk” and demand that it, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militant groups end all provocative and violent actions.
The anti-Hamas resolution received 87 votes in favour and 57 against it, with 33 abstentions.
But the US was humbled after the vote by Kuwait on behalf of the Arab states to require a two-thirds majority contending it was a matter of international peace and security.
That procedural manoeuvre received 75 votes, with 72 against it and 26 abstentions and nullified the US resolution on Hamas that followed it despite the simple majority it received.