UN Secretary general Antonio Guterres, who took up his post in January, arrived Sunday for his first meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Monday and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah Tuesday .He is also scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip and inspect UN facilities, though meetings with Hamas officials have not been arranged. He will no doubt hear about the human suffering caused by Abbas’ decision to restrict the supply of electricity to the Palestinian enclave.
The UN Secretary, a former prime minister of Portugal, will also tour Israeli communities and IDF positions along the Gaza border and visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
Gueterres is also expected to discuss a broader mandate for UNIFIL. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley last week criticized the UNIFIL commander for turning a blind eye to Hizballah’s banned weapons buildup in South Lebanon. The UN Secretary will also meet with the families of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul who were killed in the Gaza 2014 operation. They are bitterly campaigning against the government for failing to recover their sons’ remains. Hamas is holding out for Israel to release a large number of terrorists. Hamas is also holding two Israeli civilians hostage.