By Yoshita Singh :
Asks UN chief Guterres to quit for justifying terror
Tel Aviv’s angry reaction came after UN chief’s statement, “It is important to also recognise the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation,” referring to Israel without naming.
UN SECRETARY-GENERAL Antonio Guterres’s comment to the Security Council that attacks by Hamas “did not happen in a vacuum” angered Israel, which called for the UN chief’s resignation and apology.
Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen, who participated in a Security Council ministerial meeting on the Israel-Gaza situation here, was scheduled to meet Guterres later Tuesday afternoon in
the UN headquarters cancelled his meeting with Guterres after remarks by the UN chief to the Security Council angered Israel, accusing him of “tolerating and justifying” terrorism.
Addressing the council, Guterres said the situation in the Middle East is growing more dire by the hour and the war in Gaza is raging and risks spiralling throughout the region.
The UN chief said it is “important to also recognise the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.
The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation”.
“They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing,” Guterres said in the meeting, which was also addressed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” Guterres said.
In a post on X, Cohen said he “will not meet with the UN Secretary-General. After the October 7th massacre, there is no place for a balanced approach. Hamas must be erased off the face of the planet!”
Later talking to reporters at the UN Security Council stakeout, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan lashed out at Guterres, saying his remarks in the council are “unfathomable”.
“You, Mr. Secretary General, have lost all morality and impartiality. Because when you say those terrible words that these heinous attacks did not happen in a vacuum, you are tolerating terrorism and by tolerating terrorism, you are justifying terrorism.”
Erdan said that Hamas beheaded babies, burnt families, raped women and abducted kids, babies and Holocaust survivors, but the secretary general is blaming Israel and the victim.
“This is a pure-blood libel. This is a pure-blood libel. And I think that the secretary general must resign because from now on every day that he’s here in this building unless he apologises immediately today, we called him to apologise, there is no justification to the existence of this building,” Erdan said.
Erdan said the UN building was established to prevent atrocities.
“How can the secretary general, with his words, justify in any way the terrible atrocities that happened to our civilians, innocent civilians?”
Israel denies visas to UN officials: ISRAEL’S ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan on Wednesday said that his country will deny visas to the UN officials after remarks by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that appeared to justify Hamas’ assault on Israel.
“Due to his remarks we will refuse to issue visas to UN representatives,” Erdan tells Army Radio.
“We have already refused a visa for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths,” Erdan said. “The time has come to teach them a lesson.”
In a post on X, Erdan called on Guterres to resign “immediately.”