United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has rejected what he calls "misinterpretations" that suggest he offered a justification for acts of terror. He pushed back against Israeli officials who called for his resignation.
In an address to the Security Council on Tuesday, Guterres condemned attacks on civilians in Israel and Gaza. He added that the Hamas attack on Israel did not happen "in a vacuum."
That prompted Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan to demand that he step down, saying the remarks were "shocking" and "completely disconnected" from reality.
On Wednesday, Guterres says he was shocked by those claims.
Guterres said, "I went on with my intervention referring to all my positions on all aspects of the Middle East crisis. I believe it was necessary to set the record straight -- especially out of respect to the victims and to their families."
He quoted his remarks from the previous day, emphasizing that the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify what he called the "appalling attacks" by Hamas.
However, Israeli diplomats are not backing down. They said the time has come to "teach" UN officials a lesson by refusing to issue them visas.
The Israelis have not said how far they would go with the ban. However, UN aid workers have been delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. They say civilians there are in dire need of food, water and medicine.