UN chief tours Israel-Gaza border

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JERUSALEM, Aug 30 (Xinhua/APP): United Nations Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres on Wednesday had taken a helicopter tour of Israel-Gaza border before he continued to the besieged Palestinian enclave.
Guterres, who is on a three-day visit to the region, met with residents
of Nahal Oz, an Israeli community near the separation fence between Israel and Gaza. Dozens of rockets hit the area before and during Israel’s 2014 military campaign in Gaza.
Guterres told the residents that he believes in “creating a reliable
political process” that would lead to peace. He also reiterated the UN’s
support to a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The tour was accompanied by Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN,
and Aviv Kochavi, Israel’s deputy military chief.
Danon warned Guterres that Hamas, an Islamist organization that controls
Gaza, has been exploiting international humanitarian aid to excavate cross-
border tunnels with the goal of attacking Israel.
“Instead of working to ensure a better future for their children, Hamas
has turned the residents of Gaza into hostages,” Danon charged.
Guterres is on his first visit to the region since taking office in
January. He met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an effort to encourage
the renewal of the peace talks. The peace talks, brokered by the U.S., reached
an impasse in 2014, mainly over the Israeli expansion of the West Bank
settlements.