Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has called on the United Nations to recognise and support the Palestinian people's right to bear arms against Israel in self-defence.
Haniyeh wrote to UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernada Spinosa in advance of the organisation's debate regarding Hamas rocket fire into Israel.
"We reiterate the right of our people to defend themselves and to resist the occupation, by all available means," wrote Haniyeh, "including armed resistance, guaranteed by the international law." He based the demand on international law drawn up and implemented by the UN, which gives states and peoples the right to defend themselves with arms if necessary, in the case of an external attack."The General Assembly of the United Nations 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. The UN singled out the Palestinian people for dozens of relevant resolutions, including 2621, 2649, 2787 and 3236," he said.
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After condemning the US for adopting Israel's narrative of the conflict and justifying Israel's aggression towards the Palestinians, Haniyeh insisted that "the last of these efforts is the attempt by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations…to submit a draft resolution condemning the Palestinian resistance and the right of our people to defend themselves against this racist and continuous occupation for more than seven decades."
Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, commented on Haniyeh's letter, saying that Hamas "going to the UN for assistance is like a serial killer asking the police for assistance. Israel and the United States will continue to mobilize the countries of the world into a united front against the terrorism that Hamas engages in."
The debate held in the UN today coincides with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is held every year on 29 November. It comes two weeks after the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, which broke out after an undercover Israeli special forces operation in the strip was botched and compromised by Hamas. Days later, a ceasefire was declared, which was again broken by Israel the following morning when Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza.