Israeli visa denials to United Nations officials in the wake of Guterres’ Gaza war speech. As tensions escalate between Israel and the United Nations, Israel’s ambassador to the organization has stated that visas will be denied to United Nations officials.
Israeli media report that Gilad Erdan stated on Wednesday that the repercussions of the United Nations secretary-general’s Security Council address the day before persist.
Indirectly, Israel was criticized by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for mandating the evacuation of Gaza Strip civilians from the northern to the southern region. Furthermore, he asserted that the October 7 attack by Hamas against Israel did not occur “amidst a vacuum” because the Palestinians have been “obliterated for the past 56 years.”
A “very balanced approach” by Guterres was praised by many nations, according to Gabriel Elizondo of Al Jazeera in New York. Israel, on the other hand, was “enraged,” and its representatives demanded that the UN chief resign.
According to Elizondo, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who was present at the debate, “was so upset” that he canceled a Tuesday afternoon meeting with the secretary-general.
Elizondo further stated, “This type of reaction against the secretary-general is extremely uncommon.”
“We will deny visas to United Nations representatives in light of his [Guterres’s] remarks,” Erdan informed Army Radio. “A visa application for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths has already been denied. “They must now be instructed in a lesson.”
The UN chief has “expressed an understanding for terrorism and murder” with this speech, according to Erdan on X, formerly Twitter.
Subsequently, Guterres published a portion of his speech on X, seemingly an attempt to demonstrate that he has held Israel and Hamas accountable for the Gaza crisis.
“The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify Horrendous Hamas attacks.” “These abhorrent assaults do not warrant the Palestinian people’s collective punishment,” he composed.
“Unprovoked attack” is how the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Israel’s demand that the secretary-general of the United Nations resign.
The Palestinian Ministry of Information characterized Israel’s stance on X as an “extension” of its “disrespect and lack of commitment” toward the United Nations, its charter, and resolutions about Palestine.
The Gaza conflict
According to Israeli officials, on October 7, Hamas militants stormed into Israel. They attacked primarily civilian targets, including families and a music festival, claiming the lives of at least 1,400 individuals and more than 220 captives.
The Health Ministry of the Gaza Strip reported that In Retaliation Israeli Bombings, approximately 5,800 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilians, were slain throughout the territory.
Guterres, who traveled to the Rafah crossing last week to obtain aid across the Egyptian-Gazarian frontier, also commended the entry of three aid convoys thus far in his address.
However, the United Nations chief described it as “a drop of aid in an ocean of need,” and the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) threatened to cease operations on Wednesday due to a fuel shortage.
“To alleviate immense suffering, streamline and secure aid delivery, and expedite the liberation of hostages.” Guterres reaffirmed his call for an urgent cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes.
Security Council impasse
Israel, which the United States supports, has declined appeals to cease the offensive, arguing that doing so would merely provide an opportunity for Hamas to regroup.
The United States vetoed a draft resolution on the crisis last week, stating that it did not support Israel’s right to respond to Hamas adequately.
Support for a new resolution sponsored by the United States that “incorporates substantive feedback” was requested from the Security Council by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The proposal, which the AFP news agency obtained, would advocate for adherence to international law while safeguarding the “inherent right of all states” to self-defense. It would support “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid to enter, but not an absolute Ceasefire.
Blinken stated, “No nation in this entire organization, not a single member of this Council, could or would permit the slaughter of its people.”Russia, which the Security Council routinely criticized for its invasion of Ukraine, swiftly declared its opposition to the US draft while wielding a veto.
Egypt, a regional partner, also criticized the document.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry expressed astonishment at recent efforts to pass a resolution that fails to include a call for a ceasefire, which would have prevented the situation from escalating further and potentially positioned the region at a difficult juncture.
The Security Council’s lack of action was deemed “inexcusable” by opposing Hamas foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki and Jordan, another US ally.
Ayman Safadi, foreign minister of Jordan, stated, “To reassure two billion Arabs and Muslims that international law will be applied, the Security Council must take a clear stance.”
Due to the impasse in the Security Council, Jordan and Russia are among the countries that have requested a Thursday meeting of the UN General Assembly, whose resolutions are non-binding.