On October 25, Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, said the Israeli government would refuse visas to U.N. officials. The statement comes the day after Erdan called for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to resign from his position for being passionate toward Palestinians.
“The U.N. secretary-general, who shows understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women and the elderly, is not fit to lead the U.N.,” the Israeli official said on Tuesday.
“There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for the terrible atrocities committed against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people,” he added. “There are simply no words.”
“Due to his [Guterres’] remarks, we will refuse to issue visas to U.N. representatives,” Erdan said on Army Radio the following day. “We have already refused a visa for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. The time has come to teach them a lesson.”
Erdan also lashed out against the secretary-general in a post on X (formerly Twitter) over Guterres’ comments that “it is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.”
The Israeli ambassador said Guterres is “disconnected” from the region’s reality. According to Erdan, the secretary-general’s view of the Hamas surprise attack is “distorted and immoral.”
This is not the first time Erdan has verbally attacked a U.N. representative. The Israeli ambassador has called on every representative to condemn Hamas, saying that the “terrorist group” has weaponized the U.N. when attacking Israel with missiles and rockets.
“Ceasefires are like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound,” he said. “Such steps will not eradicate the cancer that is Hamas.
“Humanitarian corridors will not prevent the next atrocity.” he added. “The only thing that will is the utter obliteration of this satanic entity. What are you doing to prevent this evil?”
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned “in the strongest terms” the Israeli verbal assaults against Guterres, saying they were “unjustified and premeditated” and displayed the Israeli regime’s lack of respect and commitment to the international community and its charter and resolution toward the Palestinians.
On Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement that the Israeli government seeks to nullify the U.N.’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, specifically the U.N. chief, his team and the representatives trying to end the war against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, ending the forced displacement of Palestinians and immediately opening corridors to continually deliver humanitarian relief aid to the Palestinians in the besieged coastal territory.