Convoy of UN chief Ban Ki-moon in Gaza 390.
(photo credit: Yoni Reif)
Dozens of Palestinians threw shoes, sticks and stones at UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's convoy as it crossed into the Gaza Strip
on Thursday, protesting against what they saw as a slight against
Palestinians jailed in Israel.
No one was injured during the
hostile welcome and the vehicles, which entered the Hamas-ruled
territory from southern Israel through the Erez crossing, pushed through
the crowd and sped away.
Ban is visiting the region to try to
restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He will also
arrive in the city of Khan Younis and give a press conference there,
according to Palestinian Ma'an news agency. Later on Thursday he is
scheduled to visit the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
Many of those who protested as the
UN convoy passed were family members of Palestinians being held in
Israeli prisons. They hit the vehicles with signs bearing slogans
accusing Ban of bias towards Israel and of refusing to meet the
relatives of Palestinian prisoners.
Palestinians are held in Israeli jails and securing their release is a
highly emotive issue in Palestinian society.
Earlier this week, Ban held talks with high level Israeli officials
including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Upon completion of his visit to the Gaza Strip Thursday, Ban is
scheduled to visit the Sapir Academic College near Sderot, which has
been the target of numerous Kassam rockets from Gaza. He will then hold
meetings with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Opposition Leader Tzipi
Livni, and deliver the keynote address at the 12th annual Herzliya
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