Antonio Guterres
Antonio GuterresREUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday appeared to equate between Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel and the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

In a post on social media, Guterres wrote, “Nothing can justify the 7 Oct terror attacks by Hamas” but then added, “Nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

He then added, “It’s high time for a humanitarian ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and unimpeded humanitarian access throughout Gaza.”

Guterres has long been criticized for his attempts to create a moral equivalence between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization.

Near the start of the war in Gaza, Guterres 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, the UN chief claimed his comments were misinterpreted and that he had indeed condemned Hamas.

Later, he mentioned the sexual crimes committed by Hamas in its October 7 attack in Israel in the same breath as “reports of sexual violence against Palestinian detainees”.

The crimes committed by Hamas were confirmed in a report released by UN Special Rapporteur Pramila Patten. On the other hand, UN experts have accused IDF soldiers of raping Palestinian Arab women and girls in detention but have not provided evidence to back those claims.

Last week, Guterres demanded that Israel end its military operation in Rafah.

"I am disturbed and distressed by the renewed military activity in Rafah by the Israeli Defense Forces," Guterres wrote on social media, adding, "I urge the Government of Israel to stop any escalation, and engage constructively in the ongoing diplomatic talks."

In a subsequent post, Guterres wrote, "I reiterate my appeal for Israel and Hamas to show political courage and spare no effort to secure an agreement now. To stop the bloodshed. To free the hostages. To help stabilize the region. This is a crucial opportunity that we cannot afford to miss."