United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres blamed Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinians for the Hamas terror group’s attacks on Israel at a U.N. Security Council meeting Tuesday.
“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres stated. The U.N. Secretary-General explained that the Palestinian people have been “subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
He added that the Palestinians 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.”
“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.
Guterres’s words caused major backlash beginning with Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen who said on Twitter that he would not meet with the U.N. Secretary-General and that there was “no place for a balanced approach.”
“Hamas must be erased off the face of the planet,” Cohen said on Twitter (X).
Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, also sounded off on Guterres’s words, stating that he shows “understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women, and the elderly, is not fit to lead the U.N.”
Ambassador Erdan’s office directed The Foreign Desk to statements from his official Twitter page.
He described the speech by the U.N. Secretary-General as “shocking” and “completely disconnected from the reality in our region and that he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner.”
“It’s really unfathomable. It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views. A tragedy,” Erdan stated.
Erdan called on Guterres 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. There are simply no words,” he said.
Amichai Chikli, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, took to Twitter to sound off the U.N. Secretary General’s statement, posting a photograph of an Israeli child’s bedroom stained with blood by Hamas terrorist fighters.
In his tweet, Chikli stated that Guterres’s words were a “shameful disgrace to the most basic human values.”
“It is apparent that you, like many of your friends at the U.N., have that old, deep-seated Jewish problem, otherwise known as antisemitism,” he added.
The Oct. 7 terrorist attack resulted in the brutal death of 1,400 Israelis by Palestinian terrorists, becoming the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. The Israeli Army is currently amassing on the Gaza border for its eventual ground assault against Hamas targets.