newsIsrael at War

UN delays humanitarian zone to avoid pro-Israel optics

According to Israeli estimates, about 900,000 Gazans have moved from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the northern Gaza Strip walk through a humanitarian corridor to the safety of southern Gaza, Nov. 10, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the northern Gaza Strip walk through a humanitarian corridor to the safety of southern Gaza, Nov. 10, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.

The United Nations is delaying the opening of a humanitarian zone in the Gaza Strip so as not to be seen as supporting Israel over the Palestinians, Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Tuesday.

Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations, has held up a plan to create a safe zone in southern Gaza, according to the news site.

Late last month, Israel approved an entry visa for Griffiths less than a week after vowing not to do so due to the United Nations’ justification of Hamas terrorism.

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,” Jerusalem said at the time.

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,200 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.

Some 900,000 Gazan civilians have evacuated to the south to escape the worst of the fighting, which Israel has urged them to do for their own safety.

Israel has agreed to daily “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting and opened a humanitarian corridor along Salah al-Din road for Palestinians to evacuate south.

Two Israeli lawmakers are calling on Western countries to take in Gaza civilians wishing to relocate.

Likud MK Danny Danon and Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak laid out their proposal in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published on Monday, arguing that resettling Gazan civilians is a global responsibility and looking at Europe’s past experience absorbing millions of refugees from the wars in the former Yugoslavia, the Syrian civil war and other conflicts.

On Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres “does not deserve to lead the United Nations. Guterres did not promote any peace process in the region.

Cohen also blasted Guterres last month for remarks in which he appeared to justify Hamas’s Oct. 7 rampage in the western Negev.

“Mr. Secretary-General, in what world do you live?” said Cohen as he addressed the Security Council on Oct. 24. “Definitely, this is not our world.”

Cohen cancelled a private meeting scheduled with Guterres.

On Nov. 8, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations held a hearing examining the United Nation’s record on Israel.

“Make no mistake, antisemitic bigotry is at the root of the U.N.’s hostility to Israel, which is ugly, evil and manifests itself in almost every U.N. entity,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who chairs the committee.

“The United Nations is unquestionably the world’s foremost legitimizer of antisemitism, including in its most virulent and violent forms,” he told JNS.

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