United Nations, Oct 25 (EFE).- UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday that he was “shocked by the misrepresentations by some” of his statements on Tuesday in the Security Council about the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
“As if i was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This if false, it was the opposite” he said emphatically during a brief statement at the entrance to the Security Council for which he took no questions.
Guterres’ comments come in response to the harsh criticism he has received, particularly from Israel, whose foreign minister has even called for his resignation, for saying that the Hamas attacks of October 7 “did not happen in a vacuum, the palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
“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,” he added.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations called on Secretary-General António Guterres to resign Tuesday after he called for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
“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,” Ambassador Gilad Erdan said on social media. “I call on him to resign immediately.”
“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,” he added.
In Tuesday’s speech, Guterres had criticized Hamas’s use of civilians as “human shields” and Israel’s order to evacuate northern Gaza “where there is no shelter, no food, no water, no medicine and no fuel, and then continuing to bomb the south itself.”
He then said, “to ease epic suffering, make the delivery of aid easier and safer, and facilitate the release of hostages, I reiterate my appeal for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.”
In Wednesday’s statement, Guterres reiterated his remarks from the day before, when he “condemed unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 october acts of terror by Hamas in Israel”.
And while he again recalled “the grievances of the Palestinian people,” he reiterated that they “cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas.
Guterres did not retract any of his remarks from Tuesday, insisting instead that his purpose was to “set the record straight, especially out of respect to the victims and to their families.”
The brief statement made no mention of Israel’s unusual call for his resignation, nor of criticism from other allies of Israel, such as the United Kingdom, which called on Guterres to “retract” his remarks, British Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said Wednesday.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Guilad Erdan said on Wednesday that Israel will deny visas to UN officials and that it has already begun implementing this policy, specifically by denying a visa to UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths.
“The time has come to teach them a lesson,” Erdan said Wednesday in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio. EFE