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Israel Demands Resignation From UNSG Antonio Guterres Over His Remarks On Hamas’ Attacks

Israel became enraged when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the Security Council that Hamas assaults “did not happen in a vacuum,” and Israel demanded an apology and resignation from the UN top.

Eli Cohen, the foreign minister of Israel, was supposed to meet with Mr. Guterres later on Tuesday afternoon at the UN headquarters. Mr. Cohen recently took part in a ministerial meeting of the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza crisis.

After the UN chief’s comments to the Security Council infuriated Israel and accused him of “tolerating and justifying” terrorism, Mr. Cohen called off his meeting with Mr. Guterres.

Speaking to the council, Mr. Guterres stated that the dangers of the conflict in Gaza are spreading throughout the region and that the Middle East is becoming more dangerous by the minute.

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,” Mr. Guterres said in the meeting, which was also addressed by U.S. 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,” Mr. Guterres said.

In a post on X, Mr. 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 Mr. 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.”

Mr. 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,” Mr. Erdan said.

Mr. 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?”

Mr. Cohen, addressing reporters at the Security Council, said: “There is not two sides” and “there is only one side to support”.

“Therefore, I decided to cancel my meeting with the Secretary-General later on today since we need a clear and loud voice in regards to what happened,” Mr. Cohen said.

“We are fighting for Israel but we also fighting for the entire free world. Otherwise, West will be the next but we are determined to do everything to eliminate” Hamas “totally”.

Mr. Erdan, visibly angry, said the meeting with the Secretary-General had to be cancelled “because I’ve been serving here for the last three years and I saw and I felt the impartiality of the Secretary-General and how he gives the feelings that he doesn’t really care”.

Mr. Erdan added that expressing empty words was not enough and the Secretary-General “doesn’t really care for the suffering of the Israeli civilians”.

“Mr. Secretary-General, the UN was established to prevent such atrocities like the barbaric atrocities that Hamas committed, but the UN is failing.”

At the stakeout, family of Israeli hostages held by Hamas accompanied Mr. Erdan and Mr. Cohen.

In response to inquiries over the Israeli Foreign Minister’s decision to postpone his meeting with the Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres’ spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, stated: “The Secretary-General will meet with family representatives of the hostages held in Gaza this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. A delegate from the Israeli Permanent Mission to the UN will accompany them.

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