Guterres (centre) has been vigorously attacked more than once by Israeli officials who have called on him to resign (Al Jazeera + Agencies)

Israel on Wednesday night launched a sharp attack on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, renewing its demand that he resign after calling for him to stop the war on the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Guterres' tenure was a threat to world peace.

This came shortly after Guterres announced the activation of Article 99 of the UN Charter, which is rarely used and authorizes him to "draw the attention of the Security Council to any matter that he deems likely to threaten the protection of international peace and security."

Guterres sent an unprecedented message to the Security Council on the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, warning of its dangers to the world and warning that public order in the Strip is about to collapse completely.

Cohen said Guterres' request to activate Article 99 and call for a ceasefire in Gaza constituted "support for the Hamas terrorist organization."

For his part, Israel's permanent representative to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, accused the secretary-general of "moral perversion."

Erdan called on Secretary-General Guterres to "resign immediately," adding that the UN needed "a secretary-general who supports the war on terror, not a secretary-general who acts according to the text written by Hamas."

According to a statement published on the UN website, Guterres sent a letter to the president of the Security Council on Wednesday evening, invoking for the first time Article 99 of the UN Charter "given the magnitude of the loss of life in Gaza and Israel within a short period of time."

The article stipulates that "the Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which, in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security".

In his address to the President of the Security Council, Guterres said that "more than 8 weeks of hostilities in Gaza and Israel have led to horrific human suffering."

"There is no safe place in Gaza" and no effective protection for civilians, he said, pointing to the collapse of the healthcare system and the transformation of hospitals into battlefields.

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed his "full support" for the UN secretary-general's unprecedented letter to the UN Security Council demanding the establishment of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip.

The Socialist prime minister wrote on Platform X that "the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is unbearable. I express my full support for UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his implementation of Article 99 of the UN Charter."

Guterres has been attacked more than once by Israeli officials who called on him to resign over his statements related to the Gaza war, especially by Tel Aviv representative Gilad Erdan, who described him as "lacking his moral compass," after Guterres' statements that Gaza has become a "graveyard for children."

The UN secretary-general also told the Security Council that "Hamas's attack (on October 7) on Israel did not come out of nowhere." "These attacks do not justify Israel's mass murder in Gaza."

For 62 days, the Israeli occupation army has been waging an aggression on the Gaza Strip, which has led to the death of more than 16,43 Palestinians, and the injury of more than <>,<>, most of them children and women, in addition to massive destruction of infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian disaster, according to official Palestinian sources.

Source : Al Jazeera + Agencies