The Gaza-based Hamas movement denounced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday for what it termed his “failure” to push through a UN statehood resolution that called for a Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within three years.
“This was a unilateral decision taken by Abu Mazen [Abbas] who has taken the Palestinian decision-making process hostage,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told AFP, describing it as a “new failure” by the Palestinian leader.
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council rejected a resolution on Palestinian statehood, with the Palestinians failing to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption by the 15-member council: Eight voted for the resolution and two voted against, with five abstentions.
France, China and Russia were among the countries that supported the draft setting a 12-month deadline for negotiations on a final peace deal with Israel and an imposed full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem by the end of 2017. Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg also voted for the resolution, while Australia and the United States voted against. Nigeria, Rwanda, the United Kingdom, Lithuania and South Korea abstained.
Last week, Hamas deputy political chief Moussa Abu Marzouk criticized Abbas for not consulting his Gaza-based Hamas government partners on the draft resolution, and panned the statehood bid for not going far enough to secure Palestinian rights.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds over diplomatic issues since the swearing in of a national-unity government in June, officially ending a seven-year political schism between the two movements.
On December 22, Abu Marzouk complained that the original draft resolution submitted to the UN was “different from one presented to the national and Islamic factions” and included “many compromises on our national rights and principles.”
“Abbas has submitted a shameful document to the Security Council, void of all our rights and with no one knowing its contents, and they want us to stand behind it,” he told labor union leaders in Gaza last week.
Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar also voiced his opposition to the resolution prior to the vote, calling it “disastrous” and saying it had “no future in the land of Palestine,” earlier this month. He also opposed any deal that would have Jerusalem as a shared capital or be based on the 1967 “borders” rather than the 1948 demarcations.
The Palestinian resolution was also opposed by jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti last week, who said he supported the unilateral move to go to the UN in principle but slammed the latest bid as an “unjustified fallback which will have a very negative impact on the Palestinian position,” Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
Barghouti, serving five life terms in jail in Israel for his involvement in Second intifada killings, said any mention of land swaps with Israel should have been removed and that the bid should focus on the major issues: settlement expansion, Jerusalem, and the blockade on Gaza.