Israel has called for the UN Secretary-General to resign because he said Hamas attacks did not justify the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”
In a major diplomatic row, Israel’s UN ambassador said Antonio Guterres was “not fit” to lead the panel after claiming the 1,400 killings did not happen “in a vacuum”.
The UN chief made the inflammatory remarks at a high-level meeting of the 15-member Security Council ahead of an expected ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
“The Palestinian people have been subjected to an oppressive occupation for 56 years,” Mr. Guterres said.
“But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify Hamas’ horrific attacks. And these horrific attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”
Israel has called for the resignation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (pictured) because he said Hamas attacks could not justify the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people”.
In a major diplomatic row, Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan (pictured) said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “not fit” to lead the body after claiming the 1,400 killings did not happen “in a vacuum”. .
Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said the speech was “shocking” and that Mr. Guterres was “completely disconnected from the reality in our region.”
He added: “The UN Secretary-General, who shows sympathy for the campaign of mass murder of children, women and the elderly, is unfit to lead the UN.” I call on him to resign immediately. There is no justification or point in speaking to those who show compassion for the most terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people.”
Earlier, Israel’s foreign minister said he would no longer meet with Mr Guterres and criticized his call for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council in New York on Tuesday.
Eli Cohen said: “Mr. Secretary General, what world do you live in?” “This is definitely not our world,” while holding up photos of children kidnapped by Hamas. “How can you agree to a ceasefire when someone has vowed to kill and destroy your existence,” he added.
Mr Cohen then thanked President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for their support of Israel.
At yesterday’s meeting, Israel resisted calls for a ceasefire and said its war against Hamas was a “war of the free world.”
Mr. Blinken and Palestinian Authority Secretary of State Riyad al-Maliki both appealed for the protection of civilians in Gaza.
This came after the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza reported that more than 700 Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes in 24 hours, the highest daily death toll since the bombing began.
According to the New York Times, more than 5,700 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks since the war began. Mr. Guterres, 74, succeeded Ban Ki-Moon as the ninth secretary-general of the United Nations in October 2016.
He was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party.
During his time in office, it became known that he was significantly friendlier towards Israel than previous secretaries general. He criticized anti-Israel bias in the UN system and stated that denying Israel’s right to exist was anti-Semitism.
But in July he was criticized by Israeli diplomats for condemning their military’s “excessive force” in a raid on the West Bank city of Jenin that killed 12 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.
Israeli soldiers inspect the site of a music festival near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel on Friday, October 13
Aerial photo shows abandoned and torched vehicles at the site of the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian militants on the Supernova desert music festival near Kibbutz Reim in the Negev Desert of southern Israel on Oct. 13
In response, Mr. Erdan said Mr. Guterres’ criticism was “shameful, far-fetched and completely unrealistic.”
After the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, Mr. Guterres issued a statement acknowledging the “legitimate grievances” of the Palestinian people, but said that “nothing can justify the acts of terrorism and the killing, maiming and kidnapping of civilians.”
He also called on Israel to conduct its military operations “in strict accordance with international humanitarian law,” although he said he recognized “Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”
He added: “Civilians must be respected and protected at all times.” “Civil infrastructure must never be targeted.” He then tweeted that he was “horrified” by the attack on a hospital in Gaza, later reportedly carried out by Palestinian forces be.
In an angry interview after the end of the UN session, Mr. Erdan said the secretary-general’s comments were akin to the anti-Semitic “blood libel.” He told reporters: “Mr. Secretary General, the United Nations was founded to prevent atrocities, to prevent such atrocities as the barbaric atrocities of Hamas.” But the UN is failing. And you, Mr. Secretary General, have lost all morality and impartiality. Hamas… beheaded babies, burned families, raped women, kidnapped children, babies, Holocaust survivors.’