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Protests as UN chief tours Gaza

Palestinians protest the visit of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 30 August 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived for his first Israel-Palestine visit in the Gaza Strip today amid a cloud of anger from the families of prisoners with whom he refused to meet.

The prisoners’ families protested at the Beit Hanoun crossing. Once Guterres arrived, his convoy was obstructed and they condemned his refusal to meet with them.

The Palestinians have staged demonstrations at the Beit Lahiya intersections in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as well as at the entrance of the UNRWA Aleppo Elementary School, where Guterres organised his press conference.

They carried signs stating their demands, such as their right to establish a state, education, healthcare, demands to prevent the Israeli occupation from taking escalatory measures against Gaza, and demands to lift the siege.

The UN secretary-general stressed the need to launch a credible political process to implement the two-state solution, remove all of the obstacles on the ground, adhere to the UN resolutions, and not take any measures that destroy the trust between Palestinians and Israelis.

Read: Israeli settlements an obstacle to two-state solution, says UN Secretary General

In the press conference, Guterres said action must be taken “to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people. It is important to open the closures … It is important to avoid the buildup of the militantism that can undermine the confidence between the two people.”

I appeal for the unity, in line with the principles of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. The division only undermines the cause of the Palestinian people.

“I have a dream. A dream to one day see the holy land with two states – Israel and Palestine – living in peace and security together,” he said.

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