Ambassador Gilad Erdan
Ambassador Gilad ErdanShahar Azran

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, fired back at UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, after he warned against a potential Israeli operation in the Gazan city of Rafah.

Guterres had written in a post on X, “Half of Gaza’s population is now crammed into Rafah with nowhere to go.”

“Reports that the Israeli military intends to focus next on Rafah are alarming. Such an action would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences,” he added.

Erdan responded in a post of his own in which he wrote, “Antonio Guterres, your condemnations of Hamas sound like an attempt to check the box off a ‘to-do list’. Especially when all of your other statements focus on advancing a ceasefire.”

“A ceasefire means one thing: keeping the genocidal Hamas terrorists in power. And as long as Hamas rules Gaza, there is no room to discuss any future solutions,” added Erdan.

“As Secretary-General, you should be leading a campaign NOT to ensure Hamas’ survival, but to call on Hamas to turn themselves in and immediately release all the hostages. This should be your primary focus,” the Ambassador concluded.

Guterres’ post came hours after he was pressed by Channel 12 News correspondent Yuna Leibzon about his ongoing claims that Israel is carrying out “collective punishment” in Gaza.

Asked by Leibzon what he would have done if a terrorist organization had launched a murderous attack against his people, the UN chief replied, “I think there is something wrong in the way the military operations are being conducted.”

When Leibzon pointed out that Hamas hides within civilian populations, Guterres retorted, “I have condemned the use of human shields. I even said that it is a violation of international humanitarian law, but the same international humanitarian law is clear that even when there are human shields, there is an obligation to protect civilians, so in that regard, I think we are abiding by principles without double standards.”

Since the start of the war against Hamas in Gaza, the UN chief has been repeatedly critical of Israel. In one incident, he said that Hamas’ attack on Israel “did not happen in a vacuum” and appeared to blame Israel for the attack.

After his remarks were widely condemned, Guterres claimed his comments were misinterpreted and that he had indeed condemned Hamas.

Several weeks ago, Guterres wrote on X, “The longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the greater the risk of escalation and miscalculation. We cannot see in Lebanon what we are seeing in Gaza. And we cannot allow what has been happening in Gaza to continue.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, later responded to the UN chief and suggested he call out Iran and its terrorist proxies.