Existing land routes, not flotillas, should be used to bring aid to the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a briefing Monday ahead of a planned flotilla aiming to break the Israeli blockade on the coastal strip.

The secretary-general, in addition to urging the use of land routes for bringing aid to the Strip, said that he has been pressing officials, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak to ensure that more aid can get into Gaza and that access in and out of the Strip can be improved.

Addressing a recent statement by the Israeli Government Press Office threatening sanctions on foreign journalists covering the flotilla, which the government later backtracked on, the secretary-general said "that the United Nations consistently supports freedom of expression and the freedom of the media to do its work."

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