According to a UN spokesman, the UN Secretary General was surprised by the sudden request of the Palestinian Authority to meet with “mothers of detained children” and he agreed to meet with them.
The group that met with Mr Guterres included Latifa Abu Hamid, mother of five terrorists, one who was killed as a “martyr” and the other four who are serving between them 17 life sentences.
According to the MEMRI watchdog, one of the Abu Hamid brothers was actively involved in the October 2000 lynching of two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah and another provided weapons during the Second Intifada for deadly terror attacks against Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. All were active members of terror organisations upon their arrest.
The UN also issued a clarification that reports from the official Wafa Palestinian news agency that Mr Guterres had expressed sympathy for the prisoners’ plight were “fabricated”.
Palestinians imprisoned for carrying out terror attacks against Israelis are often venerated by Palestinians as so-called “martyrs”.
During his three-day visit, the UN Secretary General reiterated his commitment to the two-state solution: “I want to express very strongly [not only] the total commitment of the United Nations but my personal total commitment to do everything for a two-state solution to materialise…I have said several times there is no Plan B to a two-state solution”.
During his visit, Mr Guterres toured Israel’s border with Gaza, including a tour of the terror tunnels constructed by Hamas into Israeli territory. Mr Guterres was accompanied by Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon along with IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi. Mr Danon said: “Hamas continues to arm itself in order to harm Israel as it exploits the generous humanitarian aid provided by the international community”.