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Thursday Feb. 2, 2012 11:14 AM (EST+7)
UN chief's convoy hailed with shoes in Gaza

Read more: Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations, protesters, demonstrations, prisoners, detainees

RAMALLAH, February 2 (JMCC) - Dozens of protesters threw shoes and other objects at the convoy of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as he entered the Gaza Strip Thursday.

The leader of the world body met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Wednesday and was expected to tour a school and a Japanese-funded project in Gaza's Khan Younis.

Protesters, many of them relatives of prisoners in Israeli jails, threw shoes, chairs and wooden sticks at the cars carrying Ki-Moon to protest his refusal to meet with them, eyewitnesses said.

The UN chief had asked to meet with at least two Palestinian human rights activists but when their request that he also meet with average Palestinians affected by Israeli policies was declined, they boycotted the meeting.

Ki-Moon was not scheduled to meet with any officials from Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since taking control there in 2007.

His visit comes as eight rockets were reported fired from Gaza Wednesday into southern Israel.

Ki-Moon urged Israel to offer Palestinians goodwill gestures and to facilitate the United Nations' assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. He also called for the rocket fire from Gaza to end.

His visit is part of a three-day visit intended to prod Palestinians and Israelis to continue with exploratory talks the took place in Amman last month. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the negotiations appear to be a dead end and is consulting with Arab leaders and his own party as to next steps.

With reporting from Sami Abu Salem in Gaza.






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