ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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UN’s Guterres views Oct. 7 Hamas massacre film, said to call it ‘humanity at its worst’

United Nations leader watches footage following pressure to do so from Israeli officials; international body to vote on resolution calling for a surge in Gaza aid, halt to fighting

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference at the COP28 UN Climate Summit, Monday, December 11, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference at the COP28 UN Climate Summit, Monday, December 11, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres watched the IDF’s 47-minute documentary of Hamas atrocities screened as part of Jerusalem’s campaign for international support, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan confirmed on Wednesday.

Guterres watched the video in a private screening at UN headquarters after considerable pressure from Israeli officials, Channel 12 reported on Tuesday. Guterres had not attended previous screenings organized by Israeli officials at the UN, citing scheduling difficulties.

According to Erdan, Guterres said after watching the footage that the Hamas onslaught in southern Israel was “humanity at its worst.”

“Now we will see if his public statements change and if he truly understands Israel’s mission to eradicate this evil from the face of the earth and bring home the hostages,” Erdan wrote on X. “If the UN held to its founding principles, we would have heard this on the first day of the war.”

The footage shown to Guterres was first screened for foreign journalists in Israel, and has since been shown to Israeli and foreign government officials, diplomats, and Jewish community leaders abroad.

It includes harrowing scenes of murder, torture and decapitation from the Hamas slaughter in southern Israel, including raw videos from the terrorists’ bodycams.

Some 1,200 people were killed and around 240 were taken hostage in the terror onslaught which began early in the morning on October 7, when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists poured into Israel from the land, air and sea and attacked on more than 20 communities across southern Israel.

In response, Israel launched an aerial campaign and subsequent ground operation in Gaza, vowing to eliminate Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry has said that more than 19,600 people have been killing in the coastal enclave since October 7, although this number does not differentiate between combatants and civilians and cannot be independently verified. Included in the death toll are some 7,000 Hamas and Hamas-affiliated terrorists, Israel has said, in addition to civilians killed by misfired Palestinian rockets.

Guterres has faced significant backlash from Israeli officials since the outbreak of war due to comments that have been interpreted by some as anti-Israel and pro-Hamas.

In October, the UN chief appeared to suggest that the impetus for the devastating Hamas assault was the Jewish state’s control of Palestinian territories, despite Israel having unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza in 2005.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres said, prompting both Erdan and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to call for his resignation.

From left, Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, and Dani Dayan, chairman of Yad Vashem, browse the Yad Vashem Book of Names of Holocaust Victims Exhibit, January 26, 2023, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo/ File)

More recently, Cohen accused Guterres of supporting Hamas and again called for his resignation after the UN chief wrote a letter pressing for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas. Cohen also condemned Guterres’s decision to invoke a rare clause in the UN charter to urge Security Council intervention.

On December 8, the US vetoed a Security Council resolution backed by almost all council members and dozens of other nations demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood criticized the council after the vote for its failure to condemn Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacres in Israel, or to acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself.

The 193-member General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a similar though nonbinding resolution on December 12 by a vote of 153-10, with 23 abstentions.

An additional UN Security Council vote on a resolution calling for a surge in humanitarian aid and an urgent halt to the Israel-Hamas war is expected to take place later in the day on Wednesday after it was delayed on Tuesday.

The council had scheduled a vote late Monday afternoon, but it was initially postponed until Tuesday to try to get the US to support the resolution or abstain.

“We’re still working through the modalities of the resolution,” US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday afternoon before the vote was delayed. “It’s important for us that the rest of the world understand what’s at stake here and what Hamas did on the 7th of October and how Israel has a right to defend itself against those threats.”

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