UN chief “shocked” by “biased representation” of his comments on Hamas

The UN Secretary General, strongly criticized by Israel on Tuesday, said he was “shocked” on Wednesday at the “biased representation” of his comments on Hamas, ensuring that he had not justified the deadly attacks of the Palestinian Islamist movement.

“I am shocked at the biased representation by some of my statement yesterday to the Security Council, as if I had justified the terrorist acts of Hamas. It’s wrong. It’s the opposite,” Antonio Guterres told the press, while the Israeli ambassador to the UN called for his resignation.

“As I began my remarks yesterday, I clearly said, quote: ‘I unequivocally condemned the horrific and unprecedented terrorist acts of Hamas in Israel on October 7. Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians, nor the firing of rockets at civilian targets.”

Noting that he had indeed mentioned the “grievances of the Palestinian people”, he also insisted on the fact that they “cannot [aient] justify Hamas’ appalling attacks.

“I believe it was necessary to reestablish the truth, in particular for the victims and their families,” underlined the Secretary General who also denounced on Tuesday the “clear violations of international humanitarian law” in Gaza, without mentioning Israel.

Israeli representatives expressed their anger on Tuesday after Antonio Guterres’ comments, pointing in particular to the part of his speech where he considered that the Hamas attacks had “not occurred outside of any context”.

“Mr. Secretary General, in what world do you live? », Launched the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eli Cohen.

“Without a doubt, it’s not ours,” he added, then announcing the cancellation of his planned meeting with the secretary general.

The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, for his part rejected Antonio Guterres’ explanations on Wednesday, once again calling for his resignation.

“It is a disgrace to the UN that the Secretary-General does not take back his words and is not even able to apologize for what he said yesterday. He must resign,” he said in a statement.

“Israel will send a clear message to the UN and its leaders that we will not accept the continuation of bias and hatred towards Israel on the part of this organization,” he added, assuring that the Jewish state would no longer grant visas to UN representatives “hostile” to Israel.

The attack carried out by Hamas in Israel on October 7 and the reprisals carried out by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip have so far left more than 1,400 dead in Israel, according to the authorities, and more than 6,500 in the Palestinian territory. , according to the Islamist movement, mainly civilians on both sides.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, defended the UN secretary general, denouncing the “ridiculous attacks against him”.

“He is the symbol of the United Nations, he has the moral power to be the leader of the United Nations,” he insisted, welcoming his “courageous position” and his trip a few days ago to Rafah, point of passage between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, “to demand aid for the millions of besieged Palestinians”.

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