Israel’s conflict with the UN: Why? | Israel-Palestine News

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Israel has announced its decision to revoke the residence visa of United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings. Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen stated that someone who did not condemn Hamas for the brutal massacre of 1,200 Israelis cannot serve in the UN and cannot enter Israel. This decision is the latest in a series of instances of Israel clashing with the UN over the war in Gaza.

Hastings said that the conditions required to deliver aid to the people of Gaza do not exist. She also warned that a more hellish scenario is about to unfold, one in which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond. This led to Israel’s decision to effectively expel Hastings from occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said that his country would refuse visas to UN officials after the body’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized Israel for ordering civilians to evacuate from north to south Gaza. Guterres also said Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 did not happen “in a vacuum” as the Palestinians have been “subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation”.

Israeli journalist Almog Boker alleged that one of the captives released during the temporary pause was held by a teacher at a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The UNRWA released a statement calling this allegation unsubstantiated.

Several UNRWA schools have been targets of Israeli bombardment. At least 50 people were killed in an Israeli attack on the Al Fakhoura school, and 27 were killed in Israel’s attack on the Abu Hussein school. At least 47 UNRWA buildings have been damaged throughout the war. UNRWA is currently hosting about 1.2 million civilians – two-thirds of all displaced people in Gaza – in its shelters across the north and south of the Strip.

At least 130 UNRWA staff have been killed in Israeli bombings throughout the war. This is the highest number of UN personnel killed in a conflict in the history of the organization. The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus posted on X on Monday saying the agency received a notification from the Israeli military to remove its medical supplies from southern Gaza within 24 hours. Israel responded, denying that it had issued such a warning.

Israel has repeatedly targeted Francesca Albanese, the UN’s special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, a trenchant critic of Israel’s policies. Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy accused Albanese of Holocaust inversion after she drew parallels between the dehumanization of Jews ahead of the Holocaust and Israel’s war on Gaza.

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