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UN Chief Ban Ki-moon arrives in Gaza
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20:40, January 20, 2009

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The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Gaza on Tuesday afternoon to check the destruction in the Gaza Strip following the 22-day Israeli military offensive on the enclave.

His envoy crossed into the Gaza Strip through Erez border crossing between northern Gaza Strip and Israel. His UN convoy passed by areas where seized by the Israeli army ground forces and caused severe destruction there.

Ban Ki-moon arrived at the main UN headquarters in Gaza City, where he checked the stores of United Nations for Relief and Work Agency in the Far East (UNRWA) that were struck and destroyed by the Israeli army tanks shells during the Israeli army incursion into Gaza City.

He was not received by Hamas leaders or Hamas authorities that rule the Gaza Strip, where he will tour several places and neighborhoods attacked by the Israeli army during the 22-day offensive on Gaza that ended on Sunday.

A spokesman for Ban said the UN Secretary General's visit is to show solidarity with the Palestinian who have been suffering an unprecedented Israeli assault.

Ban Ki-moon is the highest ranking international official to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip since Israel and the Islamist group declared separate ceasefire on Sunday.

He will hold a news conference near the UNRWA food stores. No meetings with Hamas officials were scheduled.

Source: Xinhua

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