Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is furious over the United States’ efforts to push an unprecedented U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning the Islamist terrorist group over its rocket fire on Israel, its incitement to violence, and its use of civilian resources for military purposes, predominately its sprawling grid of terror tunnels.
The General Assembly is set to vote on the resolution, a joint move by Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon and outgoing U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, later this week or the following week.
If adopted, it would be the first time the General Assembly condemns Hamas, which usurped control of Gaza from the Western-backed government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a military coup in 2007.
Haniyeh on Wednesday sent a letter protesting the move to President of the General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa, saying that the Palestinian people “have the right to self-defense” against Israel, which he refers to as “the racist and colonial occupation that has been in place for over seven decades.”
“We reiterate the right of our people to defend themselves and to resist the occupation, by all available means, including armed resistance, guaranteed by the international law,” Haniyeh wrote, adding that the U.N. General Assembly has adopted “dozens of resolutions that affirm the right of peoples to independence, self-determination and struggle by all available means, peaceful and non-peaceful, for that right.”
Hamas, he added, “is protected by international law that provides for the right of self-defense against the American aggression.”
Haniyeh also wrote that the U.N. should instead condemn “the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the settlement enterprise and the expulsion of [West Bank] residents, as well as the Judaization of Jerusalem and the tragic siege of Gaza.”
Danon lambasted Haniyeh, saying, “Hamas speaks of international law while firing rockets at a civilian population, holding two Israelis and the bodies of two soldiers hostage, and using the residents of Gaza as human shields.”
”A terrorist organization appealing for the U.N.’s help is like a serial killer asking for police assistance,” Danon continued. “Israel and the United States will continue to mobilize world nations to form a united front against the terrorism Hamas spreads on behalf of Iran.”
On Wednesday, Haniyeh revealed that a visiting Russian diplomat recently invited him to make an official visit to Moscow.
The invitation seemed to follow a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who last week said that Russia was looking to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians, and that stability in the region could not be reached until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was resolved.