Amir Ohana
Amir OhanaYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, who is currently on a visit to Washington, DC, cancelled a scheduled meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which was scheduled for Friday, due to Guterres’ statements against Israel, Channel 12 News reported.

According to the report, Ohana made clear that he would not give Guterres legitimacy by holding the meeting. The UN Secretary-General heard about the cancellation of the meeting from the Channel 12 News report. His spokesman said in response: "Our door remains open to any delegation that would like to meet him."

"The cancellation of the meeting did not come in a vacuum," Ohana told Channel 12 News, in a swipe at Guterres following his past controversial comments that Hamas’ attack on Israel “did not happen in a vacuum”.

"I intended to try and convince, as well as hand him a book we prepared in the Knesset which documents October 7 with still images. But yesterday he again called on the State of Israel to stop fighting and criticized it 'even if Hamas uses human shields'. There are lost causes and red lines. I will not legitimize Guterres,” he added.

Guterres on Thursday 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.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)