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Israel Decries UN Secretary Who Said Hamas Attacks ‘Did Not Happen In A Vacuum’

Israel condemned United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for claiming that the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel “did not occur in a vacuum,” according to multiple reports.

Hamas kidnapped over 200 civilians during a mass terrorist attack against Israel that has killed over 1,400 civilians since Oct. 7. Guterres appeared to suggest on Tuesday that the attacks followed “years of suffocating occupation” and subsequently called for a cease-fire, which prompted calls for his resignation by Israeli officials, according to The Times Of Israel.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres said at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday, according to The Times of Israel. “The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation … the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

A translated statement on X from Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced that he would cancel his expected meeting with Guterres following his comments. Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan immediately called for Guterres to resign and bashed him for justifying “mass murder” and being “disconnected from reality” in statements on X.

“[Guterres] is not fit to lead the U.N. I call on him to resign immediately,” Erdan said on X. “There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for the most terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people. There are simply no words.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley echoed the calls for Guterres’ resignation on Tuesday, denouncing his comments as “disgusting.”

“He owes the people of Israel an apology,” Haley said on X. “This is disgusting and disqualifies him from leading the UN.”

The U.N. Secretary General’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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