Israel slams UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarks about Israel-Hamas Conflict

There is an outrage after UN Secretary-General António Guterres justified the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel by saying that there is a reason for the attack which Hamas carried out.

There is an outrage after UN Secretary-General António Guterres justified the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel by saying that there is a reason for the attack which Hamas carried out.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres said at a UN Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war, which started when the terror organisation attacked Israeli border communities, killing more than 1,400 people, almost all of them civilians.

“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,” Secreatary-General Guterres said.

Guterres added that “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,” an apparent reference to Israel’s ongoing campaign of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip that Hamas officials say has killed thousands.

Israel has denounced these remarks and the Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan demanded the resignation of the Secretary-General, calling these remarks "shocking." Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen cancelled a meeting with Guterres, and Minister Benny Gantz labelled the UN chief a “terror apologist.”

“The UN Secretary-General, who shows understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women, and the elderly, is not fit to lead the UN. I call on him to resign immediately,” Erdan posted on X. “There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for the most terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people. There are simply no words.”

Erdan said the remarks were “horrible,” and “completely disconnected from the reality in our region.”

“It’s sad that a person with such views is the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust,” he said. “It’s really unfathomable.”

Foreign Minister Cohen, who had traveled to New York to take part in the meetings on the war, posted to X (formerly Twitter) that he was canceling a planned meeting with Guterres. After what happened on October 7, he wrote, “there is no place for an even-handed approach. Hamas needs to be wiped off the face of the earth.”

Gantz, who recently joined the government as a member of the narrow war cabinet overseeing the war effort, also had harsh words, posting to X: “Dark are the days when the United Nations Secretary-General condones terror.”

“Absolutely nothing can justify the slaughter of innocent civilians,” he wrote. “Now is the time to stand on the right side of history, or be judged by it. Terror apologists cannot speak on behalf of the world.”

On October 7, Hamas abruptly bombarded Israel with thousands of rockets while over 2,500 gunmen breached the border with the Gaza Strip. The terrorists rampaged murderously through southern areas slaughtering those they found, butchering entire families in some communities and also killing 260 at an outdoor music festival. Some victims were mutilated, raped, and tortured. Dozens of babies were killed. Before the IDF could counter the invasion, over 220 people of all ages were abducted and dragged back to Gaza as captives. Four have since been released.

Israel has responded to the Hamas assault by vowing to destroy the terror group and launching intensive strikes in Gaza, saying it is hitting terror targets while trying to avoid civilian casualties. It has told over one million Gaza residents to evacuate the northern part of the Strip ahead of an expected ground incursion.

The Security Council session brought together top diplomats including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has previously rejected calls for a ceasefire, saying it would only allow Hamas to regroup.

Guterres said he was “deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza. Let me be clear: No party to an armed conflict is above international humanitarian law.”

“The relentless bombardment of Gaza by Israeli forces, the level of civilian casualties, and the wholesale destruction of neighborhoods continue to mount and are deeply alarming,” he said.

Noting that he had previously “condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented… acts of terror by Hamas,” Guterres called for all the hostages to be treated humanely and “released immediately and without conditions.”



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