update deskIsrael at War

Israel flip-flops on decision to deny UN official entry

The U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths' entry was authorized "at the request of other states," according to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. Credit: United Nations.
U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. Credit: United Nations.

Israel approved an entry visa for U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths on Monday, less than a week after vowing not to do so due to the United Nations’ justification of Hamas terrorism.

“I’m in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory [sic] where more than three weeks since the eruption of the current hostilities, over 200 Israelis remain hostage and the situation in Gaza is the most dangerous it’s ever been,” Griffiths announced on Monday.

In the post on X (formerly Twitter), the U.N. official said he flew to Israel in order to discuss with the “leadership of both parties” the humanitarian response to the Hamas-initiated war against the Jewish state.

Griffiths met with some of the families of Israeli captives held by Hamas on Monday, according to his X account.

The foreign ministry said Griffiths’ trip to the Jewish state had been authorized “at the request of other states to expedite the departure of foreign nationals from the Gaza Strip.”

“Israel has expressed its severe disappointment at the conduct of U.N. bodies and statements of their leaders. Accordingly, each entry into Israel of U.N. officials will be examined on its merits,” Jerusalem said on Monday, according to a statement.

Last week, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan blasted Griffiths’ boss, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, for remarks in which he appeared to justify Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in the western Negev.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres told the U.N. Security Council on Oct. 24, adding that “the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 people and wounded more than 5,000 in a massive offensive launched from Gaza on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

“The shocking speech by the U.N. secretary-general at the Security Council meeting … proved conclusively, beyond any doubt, that the secretary-general is completely disconnected from the reality in our region and that he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner,” said Erdan.

“His statement that ‘the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,’ expressed an understanding for terrorism and murder. It’s really unfathomable. It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views,” the ambassador added.

JNS confirmed a report by local media that Erdan had moved to cancel Griffiths’ visa. The Israeli Mission to the United Nations said that Erdan looked into the possibility of expelling U.N. officials from Israel, as well, though the mission spokesperson said it was too early to identify such officials.

A spokesperson from Erdan’s office declined JNS’s request for comment on Jerusalem’s decision to approve Griffiths’ trip.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates