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Hamas criticises Israel’s cancellation of UN coordinator’s visa 

December 6, 2023 at 3:41 pm

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings in Gaza City, on 23 May 2021 [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, said on Wednesday that Israel’s cancellation of the residence visa granted to UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings “is a continuation of its arrogant approach and an attempt to impose its misleading and false narrative to cover up the genocidal and ethnic cleansing war being waged on the Palestinian people.”

The criticism was made by Hamas in response to Israel announcing that it was revoking Hastings’ visa due to her failure to condemn the movement.

“We will no longer be silent in the face of the bias of the UN! I decided to revoke the residence visa to Israel of the UN ‘humanitarian’ coordinator Lynn Hastings,” wrote Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on X. “Someone who did not condemn Hamas for the brutal massacre of 1,200 Israelis, for the kidnapping of babies and the elderly and for the horrific acts of abuse and rape, and for using the residents of Gaza as human shields, but instead condemns Israel, a democratic country that protects its citizens, cannot serve in the UN and cannot enter Israel!”

There was no immediate comment from Hastings or the UN on the Israeli decision as of Tuesday evening.

READ: ‘Catastrophic’ situation unfolding in Gaza was ‘entirely foreseeable, preventable’: UN Rights chief

Hamas called on “the international community and the UN to take a firm stance against the Zionist policy of blackmail and its lack of respect for international structures and figures, which has been expressed repeatedly by its officials.”

Hastings warned on Tuesday: “Nowhere is safe in Gaza and there is nowhere left to go. The conditions required to deliver aid to the people of Gaza do not exist. If possible, an even more hellish scenario is about to unfold, one in which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond.” She stressed that “Israeli military operations have expanded into southern Gaza, forcing tens of thousands of others into increasingly compressed spaces, desperate to find food, water, shelter and safety.”

Israel called on UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to resign immediately on 24 October, and Cohen refused to meet him after Guterres pointed out that, “The attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.”

Israel launched an air and ground offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza after Hamas led an attack on Israeli army barracks and settlements in the vicinity of Gaza on 7 October. The resistance fighters crossed the nominal border into the occupation state and took around 240 hostages. Since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopter gunships and tanks of the Israel Defence Forces had in fact killed many of the 1,200 soldiers and civilians alleged by Israel to have been killed by Hamas.

The apartheid occupation state has since killed more than 16,248 Palestinians in Gaza, 7,112 of whom were children, and 4,885 of whom were women, as at 5 December. More than 43,500 people have been wounded by the Israeli offensive, and at least 8,000 are thought to be buried under the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israeli bombs. Moreover, the healthcare sector in Gaza has collapsed under the weight of the casualties and attacks on hospitals and medical staff by Israeli forces.

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