"Today is United Nations Day, marking 78 years since the UN Charter entered into force. That Charter reflects our shared commitment to advancing peace, sustainable development, and human rights. On this UN Day, at this critical hour, I appeal to all to pull back from the brink before the violence claims even more lives and spreads even farther," Guterres said, addressing the Security Council.
Guterres opened his remarks by condemning the horrifying and unprecedented Oct. 7 acts of terror by Hamas in Gaza. "Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians – or the launching of rockets against civilian targets," he said, adding that all hostages must be treated humanely and released immediately and without conditions. However, Guterres acknowledged that this violent attack "did not happen in a vacuum" as the Palestinians have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation by the Israelis. Their lands have been steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence.
"Their economy [was] stifled. Their people [were] displaced and their homes [were] demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing," he pointed out.
As the conflict escalates, he called out parties to uphold and respect their obligations under international humanitarian law; take constant care in the conduct of military operations to spare civilians; and respect and protect hospitals and respect the inviolability of UN facilities, which today are sheltering more than 600,000 Palestinians. He also slammed the Israeli forces for their relentless attacks in Gaza, citing his own colleagues as victims of these. "I mourn and honor the dozens of UN colleagues working for [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] UNRWA – sadly, at least 35 and counting – killed in the bombardment of Gaza over the last two weeks," he said.
Guterres further emphasized that it is paramount to protect civilians in any armed conflict and this could never mean using them as human shields. "Protecting civilians does not mean ordering more than one million people to evacuate to the south, where there is no shelter, no food, no water, no medicine and no fuel, and then continuing to bomb the south itself," he said, directly referring to Israel's violations of the international humanitarian law. (Related: Israel has already attacked hospitals and health care facilities in Gaza 51 times, says "horrified" United Nations.)
He also warned that UN fuel supplies in Gaza will run out in a matter of days, which could spell further disaster in the transportation of aid, electricity in hospitals and in the purification and pumping of water supply. It is at this point that he called for the ceasefire and appealed for all to stand up to the forces of antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and all forms of hate. "Israelis must see their legitimate needs for security materialized, and Palestinians must see their legitimate aspirations for an independent State realized, in line with United Nations resolutions, international law, and previous agreements," he said.
Following the speech expressing Guterres' deep concern about "the clear violations of international humanitarian law" by the Israelis in Gaza, Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan accused him of "justifying terrorism." Israel also called for Guterres' resignation, accusing him of blood libel and announcing that it was withdrawing travel visas for UN officials, including UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths.
The day after his speech and Israel’s reaction, Guterres rejected "misrepresentations" of his statement. Without mentioning Israel by name, the furious-looking UN top official made a press statement in New York recalling that in his remarks on Tuesday, he had specifically said no Palestinian grievance could justify the horrendous attacks by Hamas. Rebutting the criticism and insisting it was necessary to re-establish the truth, he said "I am shocked by the misrepresentations by some of my statement as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false. It was the opposite."
But Erdan said in reply that the UN chief "once again distorts and twists reality," and repeated his call for Guterres to resign.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who was in the chamber as Guterres spoke, reportedly said: "In what world do you live? Definitely, this is not our world." Writing on social media later, Cohen said: "After the Oct. 7 massacre, there is no place for a balanced approach. Hamas must be erased off the face of the planet."
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This video is from Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on Brighteon.com.