World / Middle East

UN chief in Gaza pledges to stand with Palestinians

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-14 17:26

GAZA - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, and met with members of the Palestinian unity government. He said his organization stands with the Palestinian people.

"We are standing to your side," said Ban Ki-Moon in a news conference held at the Palestinian unity government's headquarters in Gaza city. He announced that the first shipment of construction raw materials will be allowed in Gaza on Tuesday.

While in Gaza, Ban is expected to launch a reconstruction process of construction in the coastal enclave that his organization supervises. His convoy crossed through Erez crossing point between Israel and northern Gaza Strip.

He visited in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip to check a school run by his UN relief and work agency, which was hit during a 50-day Israeli offensive on Gaza that ended in Aug 26.

"We express deep solidarity with the Palestinian people for a better future and better economy," said Ban Ki-Moon, adding "I told the Israeli side that resolving problem in Gaza can never be made without resolving the roots of the problem."

He also went to check the massive destruction caused during the Israeli large-scale ground operation in July in Sheja'eya neighborhood in eastern Gaza city and spoke to the owners of the destroyed homes.

"The fist shipment of construction raw materials will arrive in Gaza today and the salaries of the employees in the Gaza Strip will be paid by the end of this month," said the UN chief.

On July 8, Israel launched a large-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip that lasted for 50 days. The offensive ended after Egypt brokered a ceasefire deal between Israel and the Hamas-led Gaza militant groups.

The offensive on the coastal enclave left large destruction. One of the conditions to reach calm and ceasefire was to end years of an Israeli blockade imposed on the area following Hamas' violent takeover of it.

However, a Norwegian-sponsored conference of donors, held earlier this week in Cairo, agreed to donate around $5 billion that will be devoted for reconstruction of houses and infrastructure, as well as for development.

Ban stressed that in order to resolve all the ongoing problems, the Palestinians and the Israelis have to resume their peace negotiations and discuss all these problems, otherwise this means that they will get back to violence."

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