UN Secretary Antonio Guterres stated that the attack on Oct. 7 "did not come out of nowhere" but was a result of "56 years of occupation."
On Wednesday, Germany reaffirmed its confidence in the work of United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres in the face of Israeli demands for his resignation.
"We need to take a step back. The situation is highly charged, very tense. It's affecting all of us, and I don't feel that the calls for resignation are justified," said Steffen Hebestreit, the spokesperson for Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Hebestreit declined to comment on the content of Guterres' statements but emphasized that he enjoys the "confidence" of the Scholz administration. He added that Germany currently stands "unwaveringly" by Israel's side but is also making efforts to "mediate."
"We see what's happening in Israel, what's happening in Gaza. We're trying to open humanitarian channels so that civilians can continue to receive food and water," the spokesperson said, echoing the message conveyed by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock before the UN Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday.
"In this situation, my advice would be that on the international and public level, we should not allow ourselves to be divided but rather address a very complicated and delicate conflict together," he summarized.
During a debate about the conflict at the United Nations on Tuesday, Guterres stated that the attack on October 7 "didn't come out of nowhere" but was a result of "56 years of occupation." He also condemned human rights violations during the offensive in the Gaza Strip, where approximately 6,000 people have died due to Israeli airstrikes.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called for the resignation of the Portuguese diplomat, who later emphasized that there is no justification for Hamas taking hostages and called for their release.
Meanwhile, the UK's Secretary of State for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, called on Guterres today to "retract" his comments and rejected the assertion made by the UN Secretary that Israel had violated the law in its Gaza blockade.