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UN chief visits Gaza to check humanitarian situation

Time:2017-08-30 17:17:34 Source: Xinhua China Youth International

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  GAZA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived Wednesday in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip for a several-hour visit to check the humanitarian situation there.

  Guterres and his convoy of UN vehicles entered Gaza through the Erez border crossing between the northern tip of the blockaded coastal enclave and Israel, witnesses said.

  The Portuguese UN chief is not scheduled to meet with any of Islamic Hamas leaders, who have been ruling Gaza since their movement violently seized control of the territory in June 2007.

  A day earlier, Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, or parliament, said Guterres' visit to Gaza is "unwelcome," because he expressed solidarity with Israeli hostages and neglected thousands of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails.

  But later, Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza said in a press statement that Guterres' visit to Gaza is "welcome," after the UN chief paid a visit to the families of the Palestinian prisoners during his tour in West Bank.

  "He has to help end the Israeli blockade and rescue the deteriorating humanitarian situation," Barhoum said.

  Local UN officials said Guterres will visit the UN headquarters in Gaza city and get a briefing from UN officials on the situation in the Gaza Strip.

  He will tour Gaza and meet with Palestinian notables and the leaders of the clans in the enclave.

  Guterres arrived in Israel on Monday and held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Tuesday, he visited the West Bank city of Ramallah and held talks with Prime Minister of the Palestinian consensus government Rami Hamdallah.

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