In his speech, Guterres emphasized the need for all parties involved in the conflict to respect and protect civilians, condemning the events on October 7th. He stated, "Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring, and kidnapping of civilians - or the launching of rockets against civilian targets." He also noted that the Palestinian people have faced decades of occupation, land loss, economic hardship, displacement, and home demolitions, which have also fueled grievances.
Guterres' remarks have sparked a heated exchange between Israel and the UN. While Guterres rejected what he called "misrepresentations" of his statement, Israel's ambassador, Erdan, accused the UN chief of distorting reality and reiterated his call for Guterres to resign. The Gaza conflict has already claimed more than 6,500 lives, with Israels constant air and artillery strikes killing thousands of children and maiming tens of thousands more as they prepare for a potential ground invasion.
Israel has frequently applied political pressure on people who speak out against the atrocities committed by Israel, adding further fuel to the theories that the zionist entity has too much influence on institutions around the world.