Israel Demands UN Chief Resign for Saying Hamas Attack Didn’t Happen in a Vacuum

The US and Russia are expected to introduce competing resolutions at the UN Security Council related to Gaza

Israel’s ambassador to the UN has lashed out at UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for saying the Hamas attack on southern Israel “did not occur in a vacuum” and demanded his resignation.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres said at a UN Security Council meeting. “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 added that the history does not mean the Hamas attack was justified. “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,” he said.

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan called the comments “shocking” and called on Guterres to step down. “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,” he said.

Other Israeli officials criticized Guterres, including Benny Gantz, who is a minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet. Gantz called Guterres a “terrorist apologist” and said that “absolutely nothing can justify the slaughter of innocent civilians.” Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes continue to pound Gaza, where thousands of children have already been killed by the Israeli onslaught.

The US has been covering for Israel at the UN Security Council by voting against and vetoing resolutions calling for an end to the violence in Gaza. The US and Russia are expected to soon introduce competing resolutions. The Russian version will call for a complete humanitarian ceasefire, while the US will propose a vague “pause” to allow aid into the besieged enclave.

Some aid trucks have entered Gaza, but UN agencies have said more than 20 times the current deliveries are needed to support the population after over two weeks of relentless airstrikes.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.