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UN Secretary-General Clarifies Statements Amid Diplomatic Spat

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has addressed what he terms as "misinterpretation" of his recent statement made at the Security Council, categorically describing these interpretations as "false". in an effort to "set the record straight", Guterres took an impromptu opportunity to reiterate and clarify his remarks at the UN Secretary Council stakeout in New York on Wednesday.

The UN Secretary-General's original statement, delivered on Tuesday, outlined a nuanced perspective on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Guterres began by emphasizing the historical context, acknowledging that the attacks by Hamas cannot be viewed in isolation but must be considered within the broader context of a protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He stated, "It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum", highlighting the prolonged occupation faced by the Palestinian people, characterized by land encroachments, violence, economic constraints, displacement, and demolitions.

However, Guterres was unambiguous in his condemnation of the attacks by Hamas, underscoring that these actions could not be justified by the grievances of the Palestinian people. He stated, "But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify appalling attacks by Hamas. And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. Excellencies, even war has rules".

In his clarification on Wednesday, Guterres reaffirmed his unequivocal condemnation of the "horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel". He acknowledged that he had indeed mentioned the grievances of the Palestinian people in his statement. Simultaneously, he underscored that these grievances should not serve as a justification for the attacks carried out by Hamas, as he had made clear in his original remarks.

The UN Secretary-General's attempt to clarify his position follows a diplomatic dispute between Israel and the United Nations. In the wake of his initial statement, Israeli officials have called for Guterres' resignation and have taken measures such as suspending visas for UN officials.

Guterres's statements and the ensuing diplomatic tensions emphasize the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the sensitivity surrounding international responses to the ongoing situation. It also underscores the importance of clear and precise communication, especially in the context of conflicts with far-reaching consequences.



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