By Qais Abu Samra
The Palestinian Authority on Friday welcomed the rejection of UN General Assembly of a U.S. draft resolution condemning Palestinian resistance group Hamas.
In a statement, the Ramallah-based authority thanked member states that voted against the U.S. draft.
"We will not allow the condemnation of the Palestinian national struggle,” it added in the statement cited by the official Wafa news agency.
Hamas, for its part, thanked all member states that voted down the U.S. draft resolution.
"This was a great victory for the Palestinian right, Arab and Islamic supporters and for the free people in the world and lovers of the Palestinian people," the group said in a statement.
It described the failure of the resolution as a “major defeat to the U.S. administration and its policies in the region."
Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh also hailed the rejection, saying the “world conscience has voted down the U.S. draft”.
In a statement, Haniyeh said the draft resolution “was the first of its kind in which the U.S. attempted to snatch a resolution condemning the Palestinian legitimate resistance."
"The global conscience thwarted the American draft resolution in the UN against Hamas and the resistance of the Palestinian people," Haniyeh said.
The Hamas leader went on to describe the rejection of the UN draft as "a very significant achievement for our Palestinian people."
He also expressed his appreciation to efforts done by the Palestinian Authority through its permanent envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour.
On Thursday, the UN General Assembly narrowly rejected a U.S.-sponsored resolution seeking to condemn Hamas.
The resolution, backed strongly by Israel and the U.S., needed a two-thirds majority to pass following an earlier vote in the assembly.
The vote ultimately failed to cross the higher threshold, with 87 nations voting in favor and 57 voting against. Thirty-three countries abstained.
U.S.-Palestinian relations have strained since last year when U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, triggering world outcry.
Since Trump’s controversial Jerusalem move, the Palestinian Authority has rejected any U.S. mediation in the Middle East peace process.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the perennial Mideast conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.