Ambassador Erdan
Ambassador Erdanspokesperson

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan responded to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ remarks today (Wednesday) clarifying his statement that Hamas' massacre of over 1,400 Israelis "did not happen in a vacuum" and reiterated his demand that Guterres resign.

"It is a disgrace to the UN that the Secretary-General does not retract his words and is not even able to apologize for what he said yesterday. He must resign," Erdan said.

He continued, "The Secretary-General, once again, distorts and twists reality. He clearly said yesterday that the massacre by Hamas ‘did not happen in a vacuum.’ Every person understands very well that the meaning of his words is that Israel has guilt for the actions of Hamas or, at the very least, it shows his understanding for the ‘background’ leading up to the massacre."

"A Secretary-General who does not understand that the murder of innocents can never be understood by any ‘background’ cannot be Secretary-General. It is sad that this is the man who heads the UN which is supposed to fight terrorism and global atrocities. I again call on him to resign.

"Israel will work to convey a clear message to the UN and to its leader that we will not accept the continued bias and hatred towards Israel by this organization," Erdan concluded.

Earlier today, Guterres held a press conference in which he stated: "I am shocked by the misrepresentations 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. In the beginning of my intervention yesterday, I clearly stated, and I quote: "I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October act of terror by Hamas in Israel. Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring, and kidnapping of civilians, or the launching of rockets against civilian targets," end quote."

"Indeed, I spoke of the grievances of the Palestinian people, and in doing so, I also clearly stated, and I quote: "But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas," end quote. And then I went on with my intervention, referring all my positions on all aspects of the Middle East crisis.

"I believe it was necessary to set the record straight, especially out of respect to the victims and to their families," the Secretary-General concluded.

Guterres has come under fire for a speech he gave to the UN Security Council yesterday in which he said that "it is important to also recognize the attack by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their lands steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence, their economies stifled, their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing."