There have been increasing calls for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to resign after he made comments defending the Palestinian militant group Hamas in response to a question about the recent rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. In a press conference in Brussels, Guterres was asked what actions he was taking in response to the rocket attacks. He responded by saying, “What is important is that we avoid a further escalation of the situation, and to avoid any facet of any of the responses that could lead to a spiral of violence. It is also important the recognition, and I repeat, the recognition of the right of Palestinians to protest peacefully against the occupation.”
Guterres’ comments led to immediate backlash from Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called them “shameful.” Netanyahu has urged the UN to take stronger action against Hamas, and said Guterres should retract his comments.
In light of this response, calls for Guterres’ resignation have only grown louder. On Twitter, prominent Israeli officials have called for his immediate resignation and accused him of failing to “stand for the truth” in his statements. So far, Guterres has refused to comment on the calls for his resignation.