Israel considers limiting entry visas for UN personnel
Statements by UN chief angered Israel, reports Israeli Broadcasting Authority.
Israel will consider whether to approve all entry requests submitted by UN employees, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority reported on Wednesday.
The authority stated: “Since the beginning of the conflict, there has been an increased demand from the UN staff to come to the region. Israeli anger over the words of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and prior to that, the meeting between the UN Special Envoy to the Middle East Tor Wennesland and the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has led Israel to consider this negatively.”
As of now, Israel has not declared any official stance on restricting the entry of UN employees, while the United Nations has also not reported any obstacle regarding visa approvals.
The presence of UN staff in the region tends to increase during times of conflict and crisis.
Guterres had said the Hamas attack on Israel did not happen “in a vacuum” and followed “56 years of suffocating occupation” for the Palestinian people by Israel.
“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,” he said.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, said his country will teach the UN a “lesson.”
“Due to his (UN chief) remarks, we will refuse to issue visas to UN representatives,” Erdan told Army Radio.
“We have already refused a visa for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths,” Erdan said. “The time has come to teach them a lesson.”