By Afshain Afzal
On 24 October 2023, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres while addressing the quarterly open debate on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine of the United Nations Security Council in New York said that nothing could justify the deliberate killing and kidnapping of civilians, or the Hamas rocket launches against civilian targets, but it was important to recognize the attacks by Hamas "did not happen in a vacuum." He said, "The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation… clear violations of international law”. Reacting to the statement of the United Nations Secretary-General Israel’s representative to the United Nations demanded Guterres’ resignation and announced that Israel would withhold visas from UN officials.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen started blackmailing tactics and also accused Secretary-General Guterres of justifying terrorism and canceled a planned 24 October bilateral meeting with the UN chief. Clarifying his position, Secretary-General Guterres said, “I am shocked by the misrepresentations by some of my statement ... as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false. It was the opposite…” He said, “I believe it’s necessary to set the record straight, especially out of respect for the victims and their families.”
Foreign Minister of Israel Eli Cohen has interestingly issued a statement which said, “Israel had not chosen this war, and that its proportional response to the 7 October; massacre is the total destruction of Hamas.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken's statement before the United Nations Security Council on 24 October, “the United States does not seek conflict with Iran” and demand by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan for the resignation of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is only aimed to blackmail and pressurize the World Organization. The Israelis demanded, “The United Nations Secretary-General who shows understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women and the elderly is not fit to lead the UN. I call on him to resign immediately.” He added, “There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for the most horrific atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people.”