Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Thursday played a video of a Hamas terrorist trying to decapitate a Thai worker with a garden hoe during the October 7 onslaught in southern Israel, as the envoy faced an uphill battle to convince General Assembly members not to back a Jordanian resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza that makes no mention of Hamas.
The resolution, which will come to a vote on Friday, is expected to pass given majority support for the Palestinians among member states. However, UNGA resolutions are non-binding and largely symbolic.
The text calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all civilian hostages, the protection of civilians and international institutions, and ensuring the safe passage of humanitarian aid into the Strip.
The draft resolution also calls on Israel to rescind its order for Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south. Israel says the directive is to protect civilians as it apparently plans to launch a ground incursion that will focus on the northern part of the enclave. Palestinians note that some of those who have evacuated to the south have still been killed in Israeli airstrikes, and the UN resolution casts the measure as an attempt at “forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population.”
Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza erupted after thousands of terrorists burst through the border and rampaged through more than 20 communities. The terrorists killed some 1,400 people, the vast majority of them civilians, massacring them at their homes and at a music festival. They also abducted over 220 people to the Strip as hostages.
At the outset of the emergency session on Gaza called by Jordan and Mauritania, Israel’s mission to the UN, in its effort to bolster opposition to the draft resolution, handed out sheets with a QR code that opens a video showing Hamas atrocities.
This is not Auschwitz – it's Hamas! We are not fighting against humans – we are fighting monsters! Israel will not stop until Hamas is destroyed!
This is what I said at the General Assembly podium when I showed footage of Israeli civilians burnt alive by Hamas and of Hamas… pic.twitter.com/9ncVdog3us
— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) October 26, 2023
The images included piles of burned bodies, a baby shot in its bed, civilians lying dead in cars and in the street, and a gagged woman who had been burned to death.
In his address, Erdan showed the General Assembly a brief video of a Hamas terrorist trying to decapitate a Thai worker with a garden tool during the October 7 onslaught.
“I have seen much footage over the past weeks that will be seared into my mind forever, but there is one sight that I keep on seeing when I try to sleep. In the video, one can see a terribly injured civilian – bloodied, yet alive – laying on the ground as a Hamas savage screaming Allahu Akbar repeatedly pummels the man’s neck with a garden hoe in order to decapitate him,” the UN envoy said.
“The man on the ground is an agricultural worker from Thailand. He is not Israeli. He is not Jewish. He was merely alive, trying to make a living for his family. But he was decapitated with a blunt gardening tool. Horrifying! Israel is not at war with human beings, we are at war with monsters,” he added.
Describing the horrific massacre, Erdan said the purpose of the terrorists was to “savagely murder every living thing they encountered. Hamas Nazi murderers went from house to house with hit lists.”
The Israeli envoy insisted that “This is not a war with the Palestinians. Israel is at war with the genocidal Hamas terrorist organization… Modern-day Nazis.”
“Hamas does not care about the Palestinian people. Hamas has only one goal: to annihilate Israel,” Erdan said.
“The drafters of the resolution claim to be concerned about ‘peace,’ yet the depraved murderers who initiated this war are not even mentioned in the resolution,” he said.
“They see each one of you as a puppet. They write a resolution completely devoid of any content related to the situation. They assume that you have already forgotten who it is that is responsible for the inhuman violence, and they just expect you to support it. This resolution is a disgrace to your intelligence. It is unfathomable that such a resolution – one that doesn’t even mention Hamas – could possibly be voted upon,” he stated.
Israel has responded to Hamas’s massacre by vowing to destroy the terror group and launching intensive strikes in Gaza, saying it is hitting terror targets while trying to avoid civilian casualties. It has told over one million Gaza residents to evacuate the northern part of the Strip ahead of an expected ground invasion.
The Hamas-controlled Health Ministry says the strikes have killed over 7,000 Palestinians so far. Those numbers cannot be independently verified and are believed to include Hamas members, as well as civilians killed by hundreds of misfired Palestinian rockets.
In his address to the assembly, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, who spoke on behalf of 22 Arab countries, accused Israel of “making Gaza a perpetual hell on Earth.”
“The trauma will haunt generations to come,” he said, adding that “the right to self-defense is not a license to kill with impunity. Collective punishment is not self-defense, it is a war crime.”
“To stop this madness, you have a chance to do something, to give an important signal. Choose justice, not vengeance,” said Palestinian Authority Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour.
We cannot reverse history by asserting claims but we can, if we want to, build a future of a lasting peace.
There will be no peace with total loss for either party. https://t.co/EjO2v4YU1w
— Ziad Asali MD (@ZiadAsali) October 27, 2023
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told the meeting that Hamas is ready to release hostages and that Tehran can play a role in an exchange deal.
He said that Iran “stands ready to play its part in this very important humanitarian endeavor, along with Qatar and Turkey.”
Iran is a key backer of Hamas and has been accused, to varying degrees, of having played a role in the October 7 massacre. Qatar, which hosts both a US military base and Hamas’s political bureau, has already played a key role in the release of four hostages.
Amir-Abdollahian also issued a strong warning “against the uncontrollable consequences of the unlimited financial, arms and operational support by the White House to the Tel Aviv regime,” referencing Washington’s steadfast military support for Israel during the war.
“I say frankly to the American statesman, who is now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome expansion of the war in the region,” Iran’s top diplomat said in English at the start of his remarks.
“But I warn, if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire,” Amir-Abdollahian said. “It is our home and west Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side, and we have no reservation when it comes to our home security.”
US bases in the Middle East have come under increased attacks since the beginning of the war by Iranian proxy groups, causing minor injuries to dozens of troops.
Earlier, the foreign ministers of nine Arab countries issued a joint statement calling on the UN Security Council to implement an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
The United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, and Morocco blasted Israel for killing civilians in Gaza, arguing that “self-defense does not justify violations of international law, and deliberate disregard for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
They also condemned the displacement of Palestinians and accused Israel of implementing “collective punishment” against the Palestinians.
The matter has exposed deep divisions in the Security Council, with a total of four resolutions gaining insufficient traction or being blocked by a veto in less than two weeks.