UN chief: ‘Palestinians have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the October 7 military operation against Israel “did not happen in a vacuum”, noting that the Palestinians “have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

The remarks by the world’s top diplomat angered Israel. The regime’s envoy to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called for the resignation of Guterres, saying Israel must rethink its relations with the world body.

“The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing,” Guterres said.

Following such remarks, the foreign minister of Israel also canceled his scheduled meeting with the UN chief.

Also, in a post on X, Guterres said: „The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the horrific attacks by Hamas. These horrendous attacks also cannot justify subjecting the entire Palestinian population to collective punishment.”

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in an annual report on Palestine has said Gaza has endured 16 years of “de-development”, as well as “suppressed human potential and the right to development”.

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