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Shoes thrown at UN chief's convoy in Gaza
Published Thursday 02/02/2012 (updated) 03/02/2012 13:53
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Dozens of people threw shoes and stones at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's convoy as it entered the Gaza Strip on Thursday, Ma'an's correspondent said.

No one was injured during the hostile welcome and the vehicles, which crossed into the Hamas-ruled territory from southern Israel, pushed through the crowd and sped away.

"I thank the people of Gaza for the warm welcome," he told a news conference, provoking laughter among local journalists. "I met many people who were waiting for me at the entrance."

He went to say that he had sympathy for the complaints of people in Gaza: "I fully share their concern and frustration," he said. "This is why I am here for the third time. This is a very dire economic, social, humanitarian problem."

Ban again called on Israel to lift all restrictions on the Gaza Strip and urged Israel and the Palestinians to keep the peace process alive.

He is visiting the region to try to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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.

A spokesman for deportees from the Israeli siege of Bethlehem's Nativity church in 2002 called on Ban to defend the rights of the Palestinian people, including detainees and deportees.

A number of Gazans whose homes were destroyed in Israel's war on the coastal enclave in 2008 held up signs reading "Gaza is living in darkness," and "Save the children of Gaza," Ma'an's correspondent said.

About 5,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails and securing their release is a highly emotive issue in Palestinian society.

Around 40 percent of Palestinian men living in the occupied territories have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2007, updating a previous policy of closure on the coastal enclave.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called the blockade 'a collective punishment in clear violation of international humanitarian law' and urged the international community 'to ensure that repeated appeals by States and international organizations to lift the closure are finally heeded.'

Reuters contributed to this report
1 ) Carlos / USA
02/02/2012 12:53
Ban Ki Moon reports directly to the US department of State. He does not behave like an impartial head of UN. I would not doubt he is on the payroll of the CIA. So many infamous people have been on CIA payroll. Sadaam Hussein was paid by CIA to assassinate Democratically elected Prime minister of Iraq in 1950s. It is ironic the US invaded Iraq to bring democracy! Because the US worked so hard to destroy Iraqs Democracy many years earlier. Sadaam is not an isolated incident.

2 ) AKeenReader / UK
02/02/2012 13:18
It's a fact that UN Secretary Generals do not have much influence because all those who have been appointed to the post are US puppets. If US doesn't feel that they will serve their cause, then their appointment is not supported by the US or UN agencies funding is withdrawn by US. This is what is called " US democracy and freedom of expression". US can stuff their baised attitude and keep their aid money because they don't have to give because they are "BANKRUPT"

3 ) Mel / USA
02/02/2012 14:55
"Ban is ...to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks."? & therein lays the rub! BKM's not "restarting",'peace-talks'of any TRUE dialogue,or mutual PEACE!As head of a USG annex,he's a megaphone/sychophant of USG pro-Zionist BIAS! No-one believes in his neutrality.He just repeats the USG/Israeli Zionist shitzpah he's given,2 defer equitable peace,'til all Palestinian land is stolen by Zionists!He's actually FLOUTING international JURISDICTION,by enabling more war crimes & H/R abuses!

4 ) christian palestinian / usa
02/02/2012 15:49
The beseiged palestinian people of Gaza showed the UNSG that he is nothing. Everyone knows that he was installed as SG by the US and Israel. He deserves everything he got.

5 ) Mitri I. Musleh / Canada
02/02/2012 16:10
Show throwing is a generous act on the part of the people doing it. After all, shouldn’t those so called ‘world leaders’ get it by now? Words are cheap when action is absent. Occupation is the problem. Israel is the occupier. Therefore, Israel is the problem.

6 ) southparkbear / usa
02/02/2012 20:55
i have seen once on animal channel monkies attach zoo watchers

7 ) @ Mitri #5 / USA
02/02/2012 21:06
You ARE calling an illness "the problem",
instead of the poisonous source that caused it !!

The Arab/Muslim states ARE the problem, since they invaded
in 1948, 1967, & 1973, which caused the Both:
- the entire refugee problem from the start, and
- the need for secure Israeli borders !!!
And, in following their invasions, the Arab/Muslim states continued:
- inciting violence against Israel and the "West",
- hosting and supportings terrorists, and
- engaging in TERROR !!!

8 ) Lana / WG
02/02/2012 21:18
Ban with a smile on his face called on Israel to lift all restrictions on the Gaga Strip and to stop settlements restriction One hour later Netanyahu said he will continue to build.The racist Israelis don't want peace with Palestine and not with other country that is Muslim.They want continuing with the building of settlements, land expropriation, expulsion and stealing Palestine this continues on and on and on since so many years. Ban and other countries have to force them with total sanctions

9 ) matt / usa
02/02/2012 21:26
AAHHH the religion of peace throws rocks and shoes

10 ) Chimo / USA
02/02/2012 22:47
Yeah right, Gazans should put the blame where it belongs, on Hamas and the other Islamic groups who's idiotic war on the jews has done nothing but plunge Gaza into a living hell. Of course you can ask the people of Sderot what it's like being in hell and I'm sure they could tell you, but then you guys would all say that they have no right to be there in the first place. Israel is going nowhere, and they don't have to give up their land to Palestinians either for a b.s. peace.

11 ) Andrew / USA
03/02/2012 02:10
Feel badly for Ban ki-Moon... Pro-Israel activisits think he favors the Palestinians, while anti-Israel activists think he favors the Israelis... And his only power? Just to say some words.
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