Israel, Gaza Live Update: UN chief Guterres under fire

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has come under fire for his comments on the recent Hamas attack on Israel, which he said "did not happen in a vacuum." Israeli officials have accused Guterres of justifying terrorism, and some have even called for his resignation.

Guterres made the remarks in a speech to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, October 25. He condemned the Hamas attack, but also called attention to the "root causes" of the conflict, including the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
"The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas," Guterres said. "And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people."

Israeli officials were outraged by Guterres's comments. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen canceled a meeting with Guterres, and Israel's UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, called for his resignation.

"The Secretary-General's comments are a disgrace to the UN," Erdan said. "He is justifying terrorism and blaming Israel for the violence."
Guterres has defended his comments, saying that he was not justifying terrorism, but simply trying to explain the context in which the attack took place.

"I am shocked by the misrepresentations of my statement," Guterres said in a statement on Wednesday. "I have always been clear that terrorism is never justified, and that Hamas's attacks on Israel are unacceptable."

The controversy over Guterres's comments highlights the deep divisions within the UN on the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some countries, including the United States, have traditionally supported Israel, while others have been more critical of Israeli policies.

It remains to be seen how the controversy will affect Guterres's ability to carry out his duties as UN secretary-general. However, it is clear that the issue of terrorism will continue to be a major challenge for the UN and the international community.

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