Israel accused the UN Secretary General of sympathizing with terrorism and demands his resignation - ForumDaily
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Israel accuses UN Secretary General of sympathizing with terrorism and demands his resignation

Israel reacted angrily to the UN Secretary General's comments on the Gaza war made at a Security Council meeting. Antonio Guterres said he was shocked by this reaction, reports with the BBC.

Photo: IStock

Speaking at a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on October 24, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the situation in the Middle East is becoming more dire by the hour and called on all parties to respect and protect civilians.

“I unequivocally condemned the horrific and unprecedented terrorist attacks committed by Hamas in Israel on October 7th. “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, wounding and kidnapping of civilians, as well as rocket attacks on civilian targets,” he said.

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At the same time, Guterres noted: “It is also important to recognize that the Hamas attacks did not occur in a vacuum.”

“The Palestinian people have been subjected to a stifling occupation for 56 years,” he added.

He said the Palestinians "have seen their land inexorably consumed and suffered violence, seen their economy suffocate, people forced to flee and their homes destroyed."

Guterres also said he was deeply concerned by the "clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are seeing in Gaza" and expressed alarm at the ongoing Israeli bombing, as well as the level of civilian casualties and the "massive destruction of neighborhoods."

Without naming Hamas, he stressed that "protecting civilians can never mean using them as human shields."

“Protecting civilians does not mean ordering the evacuation of more than a million people to the south, where there is no shelter, no food, no water, no medicine, no fuel, and then continuing to bomb that south,” Guterres also said, without directly mentioning Israel. .

The UN chief also called for a humanitarian ceasefire to facilitate and secure the delivery of aid to Gaza and facilitate the release of hostages.

Israel's reaction

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan accused Guterres of “sympathizing with terrorism” and demanded his immediate resignation. Erdan later said that Israel would refuse to issue visas to UN representatives.

In his speech to the Security Council, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen criticized Guterres, asking him: “What kind of world do you live in?”

Cohen said the killing of 1400 men, women and children by XNUMX Hamas militants who infiltrated Israel constituted a massacre that "will go down in history as more brutal" than those carried out by the Islamic State (IS) group.

“Hamas are the new Nazis,” Cohen said. “Just as the civilized world united to defeat the Nazis, to defeat ISIS, the civilized world must unite and support Israel to defeat Hamas.”

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On October 25, Guterres denied the accusations against him.

“I am shocked by the distortions of some of my statements... As if I were justifying Hamas' terrorist acts. This is not true. It was the other way around,” he told reporters, without directly naming Israel.

Cohen, meanwhile, rejected UN calls for a ceasefire and doubts about the proportionality of Israel's response to the Hamas attack, which killed at least 1400 people and took 222 hostage.

Speaking about UN calls for proportionality and a ceasefire, Cohen said: “Tell me, what is a proportionate response to the killing of babies, to the rape of women and their burning, to the beheading of a child? How can you agree to a ceasefire with someone who has sworn to kill and end your own existence?”

Cohen later wrote on social media X: “I will not meet with the UN Secretary General. After the October 7 massacre, there is no place for a balanced approach.”

According to Erdan, Guterres has proven that he is “completely out of touch with the real situation in our region.”

“His statement that “the Hamas attacks did not occur in a vacuum” expresses an “understanding” of terrorism and murder. It's truly incomprehensible. It is very sad that the head of an organization that emerged after the Holocaust holds such terrible views. Tragedy!" - said Gilad Erdan.

On October 24, Israeli news site Ynet also reported that Erdan had informed UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths that his request for an Israeli visa had been rejected.

“He will not be able to come to this region. Their agencies constantly need to bring new people here, especially in times like these. They will be denied,” he said.

Reaction of other countries

British government official Robert Jenrick said the UN chief was wrong and should retract his comments.
"No one, intentionally or not, should imply that there is any justification for Hamas attacks," he told ITV.

Britain also does not believe, he added, that Israel's actions in Gaza violate international law.

Most of the countries whose representatives took part in the UN Security Council meeting on October 24 called for a cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

The United States and several other Western countries, including Australia and Canada, have refrained from directly calling for a complete ceasefire, as international organizations or Arab leaders have done.

Instead, the United States proposed a “humanitarian pause” to allow humanitarian supplies to reach the enclave and allow local residents to escape danger.

“Israel must take all possible precautions to avoid harm to civilians,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling on the UN Security Council to support a new US resolution to resolve the conflict.

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“I have no reason to expect a terrorist organization to show respect for international law or any calls for a ceasefire,” Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair said.

“To tell the truth, Hamas must be destroyed as a threat - not only to Israel, but to the whole world,” the minister added.
Russia, for its part, called for a complete cessation of hostilities.

“The whole world is waiting for the Security Council to call for a quick and unconditional ceasefire,” said Russian Ambassador to the UN Security Council Vasily Nebenzya.

Arab countries have strongly backed the call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas amid the humanitarian disaster unfolding in the Gaza Strip.

“We have seen with regret the failure of the Council on two occasions to pass a resolution and call for a ceasefire to end this war,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi demanded that the Security Council “take a clear position to convince two billion Arabs and Muslims that international law will be respected.”

Iran's permanent representative to the UN, Amir Saeed Iravani, said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to wrongly blame Iran for the war between Israel and Hamas, reports with the BBC.

“Our commitment to regional peace and stability remains unwavering,” he said. “The US has further aggravated the conflict by openly siding with the aggressor at the expense of the innocent Palestinian population.”

Riyad al-Maliki, the foreign minister of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, demanded an end to what he called "the ongoing massacres being deliberately, systematically and brutally carried out by Israel" against two million Gazans.

US President Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke by phone and agreed on broader diplomatic efforts "to maintain stability throughout the region and prevent the conflict from spreading," the White House said.

Humanitarian disaster

Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, with more than 1,4 million displaced Palestinians suffering from shortages of drinking water, food and medicine.

On October 24 alone, 704 people were killed in Gaza, including 305 children, the Hamas-controlled local health ministry says. If this is true, it would be the highest number of casualties in a single day of conflict since the start of the war, according to the UN.

On October 24, eight trucks carrying water, food and medicine arrived from Egypt to the enclave. This is the fourth batch of humanitarian aid to arrive there since the start of the war with Israel. However, this aid is not enough to stop the humanitarian catastrophe in the enclave, humanitarian organizations say. Guterres called truckloads of food, water and medicine arriving from Egypt a “drop of help in an ocean of need” and warned that a lack of fuel would spell disaster.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement that five trucks contained water, two contained food, and one contained medicine.

The UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) says its shelters are overcrowded, with some 150 people housed in 600 sites.

“Our shelter capacity has been exceeded four times over, with many people sleeping on the streets as available facilities are overcrowded,” the UN statement said.

The Gaza Strip's health ministry has warned that the enclave's health system is on the verge of collapse, with 12 of Gaza's 32 hospitals shut down.

The UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) said the Gaza Strip will run out of fuel by the end of October 25, threatening to halt humanitarian efforts in the enclave, threatening disaster for local residents.

“If we do not receive fuel urgently, we will be forced to cease our operations in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night,” agency spokeswoman Juliet Tuma said.

The Israel Defense Forces has accused Hamas of stockpiling fuel, releasing a satellite image of a dozen fuel tanks in Gaza where it says more than 500 liters of fuel are stored.

“Ask Hamas if they will give you some,” the IDF suggested.

As ForumDaily wrote earlier:

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