Israel blocks visas to UN officials over Guterres’ remarks


TEL AVIV: Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, on Wednesday said that his country will deny visas to the UN officials after remarks by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that appeared to justify Hamas’ assault on Israel. “Due to his remarks, we will refuse to issue visas to UN representatives,” Erdan said. “We have already refused a visa for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths,” Erdan said. “The time has come to teach them a lesson.” Guterres angered Israelis during a UNSecurity Council meeting on Tuesday when he said, “It is important to also recognise the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” claiming that: “The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.” The Portuguese diplomat went on to say, “They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced; and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.” Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 4,500 in a massive offensive launched from Gaza on October 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.
“Mr. Secretary-General, in what world do you live?” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen rebutted as he addressed the Security Council. “Definitely, this is not our world.” Cohen cancelled a meeting with Guterres, he announced on X. “I will not meet the UN secretary-general. After October 7, there is no place for a balanced approach,” wrote the Israeli Foreign Minister.