Israel has killed nearly 6,000 Palestinians in Gaza since declaring war two weeks ago.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned Israel for its “clear violations of international law” in its ongoing war on Gaza and said the Hamas assault “did not happen in a vacuum”, drawing rage from Israeli officials.
Addressing the Security Council on Tuesday, Guterres delivered his toughest observations on the Gaza war, triggering ire by Israel and calls for resignation by its UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan.
“I am deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza. Let me be clear: No party to an armed conflict is above international humanitarian law,” Guterres said in a UN Security Council session.
Despite falling short of naming Israel explicitly, Guterres went on to state that Palestinians have been “subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation,” and highlighted “it is important to also recognise the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.”
Israel’s representative described the UN chief’s speech as “shocking” and urged him to resign. Erdan also threatened to deny visas to UN officials as a response to the comments.
“Due to his remarks, we will refuse to issue visas to UN representatives,” Erdan tells Army Radio.
“We have already refused a visa for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths,” Erdan added. “The time has come to teach them a lesson.”
On Tuesday, authorities confirmed more than 700 people were killed in Gaza just 24 hours alone, marking the highest daily death toll since the war commenced on 7 October.
Israeli regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the massacre on Tuesday night, saying: “Yesterday, in our attacks in Gaza, we struck the enemy the harshest blow they have taken in a single day.”
According to reports, the documented murder toll among Palestinians in Gaza has neared 6,000, 70% of which are children, women and the elderly.
About 1,500 people have been reported missing and are presumed to be trapped or dead under the rubble.