Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Wednesday accused U.N. chief Antonio Guterres of supporting Hamas and called his tenure a global threat.
“Guterres’ tenure is a danger to world peace. His request to activate Article 99 and the call for a ceasefire in Gaza constitutes support of the Hamas terrorist organization and an endorsement of the murder of the elderly, the abduction of babies and the rape of women,” said Cohen.
“Anyone who supports world peace must support the liberation of Gaza from Hamas,” he added.
The comments came after Guterres, who has repeatedly called for an end to the war against Hamas, wrote a letter to the Security Council on Wednesday under Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, which allows the secretary-general to bring to the council’s attention issues that he perceives as a threat to international security.
It was the first time he had invoked the clause since assuming his position in 2017, and the first time any U.N. chief has done so since 1989.
Calling for a “humanitarian cease fire,” Guterres wrote that conditions in Gaza were “fast deteriorating into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole.”
He added: “The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis.”
In late October, Guterres told the U.N. Security Council that “it is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” adding that “the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
He went on to say that “they have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced; and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.”
In response, Foreign Minister Cohen slammed Guterres in his own address to the Security Council: “Mr. Secretary-General, in what world do you live? Definitely, this is not our world.”
Cohen subsequently canceled a private meeting with the U.N. boss.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan also denounced the Guterres’s speech as “shocking,” saying it “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.”
On Wednesday, Erdan called on Guterres to resign, saying he had reached a “new moral low.
“The secretary-general decided to activate this rare clause only when it allows him to put pressure on Israel, which is fighting the Nazi Hamas terrorists. This is more proof of the secretary-general’s moral distortion and his bias against Israel,” said Erdan.
Hamas terrorists murdered at least 1,200 Israelis and wounded more than 5,000 in a multi-pronged cross-border attack from Gaza on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets, the infiltration of Israel by terrorist forces and the abduction of some 240 hostages.
In the aftermath, Jerusalem launched a major military operation in Gaza with the stated goal of destroying Hamas as a political and military entity.