Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan on Saturday slammed UN special coordinator for the Middle East Tor Wennesland for meeting with the foreign minister of Iran, and said he was cutting ties with the official.
“Don’t forget to wash the blood of Israeli babies off your hands after that handshake,” said Erdan, sharing a photo of Wennesland shaking hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian earlier in the day.
“Tor Wennesland not only met with the Iranian regime’s FM, but didn’t even bother condemning Iran for its role in the massacre of Israeli women and children,” Erdan wrote on X. “It’s no secret that Hamas terrorists are openly praising Iran for funding, arming, and training them.”
“The UN’s support for and legitimization of genocidal terrorists is a threat to civilization!” he added.
“I am officially announcing the severance of my ties with Wennesland until he publicly condemns the Iranian regime of murder and terrorism.”
Israel and the US have not directly accused Tehran of being behind the Hamas-led October 7 onslaught that killed over 1,300 Israelis, the majority of them civilians, and led to the abduction of up to 200 more. But Hamas is funded by and cooperates closely with Iran in its efforts against Israel.
@Twennesland, don’t forget to wash the blood of Israeli babies off your hands after that handshake.
Today (!!!), senior UN official, Tor Wennesland not only met with the Iranian regime’s FM, but didn’t even bother condemning Iran for its role in the massacre of Israeli women and… pic.twitter.com/EiFRcEZuLJ
— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) October 14, 2023
On Friday Erdan held a solidarity event for hostages held by Hamas in Gaza at which he denounced the UN’s stance on the crisis, charging that the body was indifferent to the murder of 1,300 Israelis and “does not want Israel to defend itself.”
The event, held ahead of a closed-door Security Council meeting on the war, spotlighted the families of Israelis and dual nationals taken captive during the terror organization’s massive attack.
A short video was screened at the event “showing the atrocities committed by Hamas on innocent civilians including women, children and the elderly, and explaining why Hamas is the same as ISIS,” Erdan’s office said.
Yoni Asher, Alana and Liam Zeitchik, and Rabbi Burton Visotzky, family members of the hostages, spoke at the gathering.
Representatives of over two dozen countries attended, including the US, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Gabon, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Poland and Serbia.
“For years the UN has put its head in the sand. As resources and funds poured into Gaza and went straight into Hamas’ terror coffers – the UN stayed silent. As Hamas dug terror tunnels under residential neighborhoods – the UN stayed silent,” said Erdan, according to his office.
He criticized the UN for wanting to “minimize collateral damage, but in the same breath condemn[ing] civilian evacuation.”
After Israel issued a warning Friday to residents in northern Gaza to evacuate ahead of a possible incursion or a stepped-up aerial offensive, a spokesperson said the UN “considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences” and “strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation.”
“What we all hear is not the UN’s concern for civilians. What we hear is the UN’s indifference to the murder of 1,300 Israelis,” Erdan said. “The UN is making it clear that it does not want Israel to defend itself.”
“Hamas, the genocidal jihadist terror group, bears the sole responsibility for everything that happens in Gaza,” he added.
“What if your child – your baby – was being held in Gaza by a genocidal jihadist organization? What if it was your parents? What would you do? What would your country do?” he asked attendees.
“Israel is fully committed to bringing the hostages home and to obliterating Hamas’ terror capabilities,” he said.