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Israeli leaders threaten denial of entry visas for UN workers as open spat continues

UN repeatedly only highlights Palestinian aid problems

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan speaks during a press conference accompanied by families of hostages who were abducted by Hamas, at the United Nations Headquarters, October 24, 2023 in New York City. (Photo: John Lamparski/NurPhoto)

Israel has been in an open spat with the United Nations since Tuesday when UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council: “It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” seemingly justifying the atrocities that the Hamas terror organization committed against Israel on Oct. 7.

Top Israeli leaders rebuked Guterres for his remarks, with Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan calling for his resignation on Tuesday.

Guterres on Wednesday tweeted a follow up statement after receiving condemnation for his remarks, allegedly intending to soften his statement.

“The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the horrific attacks by Hamas,” Guterres tweeted. “Those horrendous attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Israel was apparently not impressed with the effort.

Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum said Guterres’ comments failed the “sincerity test.”

"The slaughter of Jews by Hamas on October 7th was genocidal in its intents and immeasurably brutal in its form… Those who seek to ‘understand’, look for a justifying context, do not categorically condemn the perpetrators, and do not call for the unconditional and immediate release of the abducted – fail the [sincerity] test. UN Secretary-General António Guterres failed the test.”

Erdan announced today that Israel would deny entry visas to UN officials.

“Due to his remarks, we will refuse to issue visas to UN representatives,” Erdan told Army Radio.

“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.”

On Wednesday, the UNRWA Palestinian refugee agency, announced it would have to suspend its work in Gaza after running out of fuel.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the UN agency wrote: “If we do not get fuel urgently, we will be forced to halt our operations in the Gaza Strip as of tomorrow night.”

The Israel Defense Forces official channel on X responded to the UN tweet: “These fuel tanks are inside Gaza. They contain more than 500,000 liters of fuel. Ask Hamas if you can have some.”

On Oct. 16, the UNRWA tweeted a statement saying a group of trucks from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health removed fuel and medical equipment from the agency’s Gaza City compound.

International human rights lawyer Hillel Neuer, executive director of United Nations Watch, took a screenshot of the tweet before it was deleted shortly after posting.

Israel has long accused Hamas of stealing humanitarian aid meant for Gazans.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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