US President Donald Trump has threatened to retaliate against countries that voted against a United Nations resolution against Hamas on Thursday, according to ambassador Nikki Haley.
After the resolution failed to garner the two-thirds majority that it needed to pass, Mr Trump reportedly asked Washington’s UN envoy: “Who do you want me to yell at?”
Eighty-seven countries voted in favour of the bill, 57 opposed it, 33 countries abstained and 23 were not present.
“The president called and he said, ‘Nikki what happened?’ And I told him, and he goes, ‘Who do we need to get upset at? Who do you want me to yell at? Who do we take their money away?'” she said in a video published on Israel’s Hadashot news site, speaking at a Hanukkah event after the vote.
“I’m not gonna tell you what I told him,” she added.
Yet she still viewed the vote as a victory for the US administration and Israel because of the majority of countries that voted to condemn the rulers of Gaza.
“Eighty-seven countries said Hamas was a problem. The tide has changed. It is a new day at the UN,” she said.
Hamas has fought three wars with Israel and the US has sought to condemn the group for rocket fire into Israel. Hamas, Palestinians residing in Gaza and rights groups regularly condemn Israel for its economic siege of the coastal enclave and incursions in the territory.
The resolution was to condemn Hamas “for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk”. It would have been the first UN resolution to specifically target the group.
While Israel and the US administration lauded the result despite its failure to pass, the Palestinians thanked the countries who voted against the bill. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the result in spite of a inter-Palestinian split between his Fatah faction and Hamas.
“The presidency thanked all the states that voted against the American draft resolution, affirming that it will not allow for the condemnation of the Palestinian national struggle,” a statement from Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
China and Russia voted against the resolution, while India abstained. It was unclear who Mr Trump was seeking to threaten with cuts after the vote. But Ms Haley, in a letter sent to all UN missions, said that the “United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously”.