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US, Israel and Palestinians spar over condemning Hamas

UNITED NATIONS — A U.S.-sponsored draft resolution that for the first time would condemn the militant Islamic group Hamas has sparked a Palestinian-backed amendment which condemns Israeli settlement building and strongly backs a two-state solution to their conflict.

A rival resolution sponsored by Ireland is entitled a “Comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.” It gives “unwavering support” to the two-state solution and references the 2016 Security Council resolution that said Israeli settlements violate international law. But it makes no mention of Hamas, which controls Gaza.

The 193-member General Assembly was to meet Thursday afternoon to consider the rival measures, which reflect the deep divisions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said the fact that there’s a vote and opposition to Hamas “is an achievement for Israel.”