Monday, February 26, 2024

Guterres shocked by ‘misinterpretations’ of Hamas statement in Security Council


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United Nations, Oct 25: Amid uproar over his remarks that attacks by Hamas “did not happen in a vacuum”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday expressed shock at the “misinterpretations” of his comments and asserted it was necessary to set the record straight that he was not justifying acts of terror by Hamas.
“I am shocked by the misinterpretations by some of my statement yesterday in the Security Council – as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false. It was the opposite,” Guterres told reporters at the UN Security Council stakeout here.
“I believe it was necessary to set the record straight – especially out of respect to the victims and to their families,” he said.
In remarks that angered Israel, Guterres had told the Security Council ministerial meeting on Tuesday on the Israel-Hamas conflict that 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. 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,” he said.
Following these remarks, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who had participated in the Security Council session, cancelled his meeting with Guterres that was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in the UN headquarters.
Later, talking to reporters at the UN Security Council stakeout, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan lashed out at Guterres, saying his remarks in the Council were “unfathomable”.
“You, Mr. Secretary-General, have lost all morality and impartiality. Because when you say those terrible words that these heinous attacks did not happen in a vacuum, you are tolerating terrorism and by tolerating terrorism, you are justifying terrorism,” Erdan said. (AP)


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