Israeli FM refuses to meet with UN chief in light of Gaza escalation

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has stated that he will refuse to meet with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres from now on in the light of the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“I will not meet with the UN Secretary-General. After the October 7th massacre, there is no place for a balanced approach. Hamas must be erased off the face of the planet!” the foreign minister said on his X page.

He published this statement immediately after his speech at the open debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, during which he expressed his opinion that there is no more space for ambiguity in the situation regarding Israel’s standoff with Hamas radicals, and that the entire world must take the Israeli side.

Otherwise, the UN will face “the darkest of time,” he added, addressing Guterres directly.

Guterres stated that Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel “did not happen in a vacuum” during his remarks to the Security Council on the Middle East Tuesday.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation,” Guterres said, adding that Palestinians “have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence.”

Later, Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan told reporters: “I think that the Secretary General must resign”, after Guterres delivered a speech saying there had been “clear violations of international humanitarian law” in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Israel’s call for Guterres to resign, describing it as an “unprovoked attack”.

In a post on X, the Palestinian ministry described Israel’s position as an “extension” of its “disrespect and lack of commitment” to the United Nations, its Charter, and UN resolutions regarding Palestine.

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