UN chief tours Gaza frontier, visits Hamas terror tunnel


(JNS.org) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during a three-day trip to Israel, traveled to the Gaza border Wednesday to see firsthand the security challenges the Jewish state faces, including visiting a Hamas terror tunnel. 

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon (left) and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Israel earlier this week. Credit: Shalom Amsalem.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, who accompanied Guterres on his visit, and IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi explained Israel's security challenges as well as the situation in Gaza under Hamas rule.

Danon told Guterres, "Hamas continues to arm itself to harm Israeli civilians and takes advantage of aid from the international community for terrorism—at the expense of the Strip's residents. Instead of securing a better future for the children of Gaza, Hamas turned them into hostages and invests its resources in digging murderous terror tunnels."

Following his visit with Israeli residents near Gaza, Guterres said, “I had the enormous pleasure when talking to the families of the kibbutzim to note that instead of what would be natural—a feeling of anger in relation to what is an attack on civilians and a violation of international humanitarian law—I’ve seen from them an extraordinary message of peace and reconciliation.”

The Israelis kept “asking us to help the Palestinians in Gaza to overcome their tragic humanitarian problems and being themselves ready to help and to provide support to the Palestinian community in Gaza,” he added.

The U.N. leader also entered Gaza, touring a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school, where he said he saw “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I have seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations.”

Guterres met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday and with Palestinian Authority leaders Tuesday in Ramallah.

Posted on August 30, 2017 .