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Israel attacks Guterres and demands resignation

December 7, 2023 at 10:00 am

Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel Eli Cohen addresses the press on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on October 24, 2023 [David Dee Delgado/Getty Images]

Israel launched a fierce attack on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, yesterday, and demanded his resignation once again. This came shortly after Guterres announced the activation of Article 99 of the UN Charter, warning that the situation in the Gaza Strip is a threat to international peace and security.

“Guterres’ tenure is a danger to world peace,” claimed Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on X. “His request to activate Article 99 and the call for a ceasefire in Gaza constitutes support of the Hamas terrorist organisation and an endorsement of the murder of the elderly, the abduction of babies and the rape of women.” He also claimed that “Anyone who supports world peace must support the liberation of Gaza from Hamas.”

Predictably, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Gilad Erdan, accused the Secretary-General of “moral distortion” in a post on X. “The Secretary-General decided to activate this rare clause only when it allows him to put pressure on Israel, which is fighting the Nazi Hamas terrorists. This is more proof of the Secretary-General’s moral distortion and his bias against Israel.”

Erdan ended by repeating his call for Guterres to resign immediately. “The UN needs a Secretary-General who supports the war on terror, not a Secretary-General who acts according to the script written by Hamas.”

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According to a statement published on the UN website, Guterres sent a letter to the President of the Security Council on Wednesday, in which he activated UN Charter Article 99 for the first time in his tenure due to the magnitude of lives lost in Gaza and Israel in a short period of time.

“More than eight weeks of hostilities in Gaza and Israel have created appalling human suffering, physical destruction, and collective trauma across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” wrote Guterres. He stressed that “nowhere is safe in Gaza” and “there is no effective protection of civilians”, and noted that “the healthcare system in Gaza is collapsing. Hospitals have been turned into battlegrounds.”

Guterres has been attacked more than once by Israeli officials who have called on him to resign due to his statements on the Gaza war, especially by Erdan, who claimed that Guterres had “lost his moral compass” after the Secretary-General said that Gaza had become a “graveyard for children”.

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. In response to “daily Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people and their sanctities,” 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 16,248 Palestinians in Gaza, 7,112 of whom were children, and 4,885 of whom were women. 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, all of which has created an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe” according to official Palestinian and UN sources.

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