Israel slams UN chief Guterres’ invoking of rarely-used power to demand ceasefire in Gaza, calls his tenure ‘danger to world peace’

JERUSALEM, Dec 7 : In a scathing criticism of UN chief Antonio Guterres, Israel on Thursday said his tenure “is a danger to world peace” after he used a rarely exercised power to warn the Security Council of an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza and urged it to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.
In a letter to the UN Security Council’s 15 members on Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General said that Gaza’s humanitarian system was at risk of collapse after two months of war that has created “appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma”.
Demanding that the civilians be spared harm, Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter which says that the Secretary-General may inform the UNSC of matters he believes threaten international peace and security.
“The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis,” the UN Secretary-General said.
Israel said Guterres’ move was akin to support for the Hamas terror group and an endorsement of the dastardly acts carried by it in Israel on October 7.
Taking to social media platform X, formerly Twitter, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that “Guterres’ tenure is a danger to world peace”.
“His request to activate Article 99 and the call for a cease-fire in Gaza constitutes support of the Hamas terrorist organisation and an endorsement of the murder of the elderly, the abduction of babies and the rape of women,” Cohen wrote.
“Anyone who supports world peace must support the liberation of Gaza from Hamas”, he emphasised.
This is the first time that Guterres has invoked Article 99 of the Charter since he became UN Secretary-General in 2017.
Invocation of Article 99 of the UN Charter has been a rare occurrence in the world body’s 78-year-long existence.
According to the information provided by the UN, there have been 10 instances in the past when matters have been brought by the Secretaries-General to the Security Council on threats to international peace and security.
But Article 99 was mentioned specifically last time in a report by then Secretary-General U Thant on the situation in “East Pakistan”– now Bangladesh. India had emerged victorious against Pakistan in the 1971 war, which led to the creation of Bangladesh. (PTI)