TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A leader of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, described the United Nations General Assembly’s move to reject a US-sponsored resolution seeking to condemn Hamas, as “a slap in the face” of the Washington government.

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In remarks released early on Friday, Sami Abou Zahri reacted to the failure of the resolution condemning Hamas, which was presented by the US before the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

“The failure of the US plan in the UN was like a slap in the face of the US government,” the Hamas leader noted.

The resolution, which was backed strongly by Israel, needed a two-thirds majority to pass on Thursday following an earlier vote in the assembly.

The proposal failed to cross the threshold, with 87 nations voting in favor and 57 voting against. Thirty-three countries abstained.

The earlier vote to require a two-thirds majority, which followed a procedural move requested by Kuwait, was much closer: 75-72, with 26 abstentions, according to Al Jazeera.

The resolution was one of US ambassador to the UN envoy Nikki Haley's final acts in the international body before she leaves her post at the end of the year.

The outgoing envoy, a staunch defender of Israel, had written to member states on Monday to urge them to vote for the US-drafted text, warning them: "The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously."

In an official statement, Hamas thanked UN member states "that stood by our people's resistance and the justice of their cause" and attacked Haley who it said "is known for her extremism and her positions that support the Zionist terrorism in Palestine".