Following constant criticism of Israel by the United Nations for increasing violence and bloodshed against Palestinians in Gaza, Israel said this Wednesday that it has revoked the resident visa of UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings.
Since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7, one of the biggest critics of Israel and its constant bombardment of Palestinians in Gaza has been the United Nations and its different agencies.
UNICEF spokesman, James Elder, for example, rebuked Israel this Wednesday for killing and injuring so many children during the war. “I go to hospitals here and when a mortar or bomb hits a residential building, the children in that building, they don’t suffer from one injury … It’s broken bones, it’s shrapnel, it’s eye injuries, it’s horrendous burns. I don’t think I’ve seen this scale of an attack on children before,” Elder said, warning that “hospitals in Gaza have become war zones and battlefields, and the situation is now bleak and deadly.”
For weeks since October 7, the UN has warned also that due to the intensity of the bombing in Gaza, providing humanitarian aid inside the Strip is almost impossible and there is a lack of clean water and food threatening the lives of Palestinian civilians.
UN chief echoed the same concerns, this time not just in words
Denouncing Israel’s war in Gaza, the UN secretary-general António Guterres made an unprecedented move the same day and called on the Security Council to declare a ceasefire to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza that could have “potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region.”
Stressing that such a bloody war should be avoided “at all cost,” Guterres wrote in a letter to the Security Council and called to invoke Article 99 of the UN Charter, which says the secretary-general “may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said this was the first time Guterres had felt compelled to invoke the article since taking office in 2017.
“Since the start of Israel’s military operation, more than 15,000 people have reportedly been killed, over 40 per cent of whom were children. Thousands of others have been injured. More than half of all homes have been destroyed,” the UN chief wrote in the letter.
Israel hit back at UN
Reacting to UN’s several cases of criticism against Israel’s constant killing of Palestinian civilians, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced this Wednesday that Tel Aviv has decided to revoke the resident visa of UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings.
“We will no longer be silent in the face of the bias of the UN!” the foreign minister said in a tweet Wednesday night, adding that “I decided to revoke the residence visa to Israel of the UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings.”
Lashing out at Guterres for not condemning Hamas attack on October 7, Cohen also noted that “the UN chief is “someone who did not condemn Hamas for the brutal massacre of 1,200 Israelis, for the kidnapping of babies and the elderly and for the horrific acts of abuse and rape, and for using the residents of Gaza as human shields, but instead condemns Israel, a democratic country that protects its citizens, cannot serve in the UN and cannot enter Israel!”
Despite Chon’s claims, however, the UN Secretary-General was among the first politicians who extended deepest condolences to the families of the victims and called for the immediate release of all abducted persons in Israel, urging also all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration hours after Hamas attack on Israel.