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'UN chief to visit Gaza on Tuesday'

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was set to visit the Gaza Strip following the deadly Israeli offensive on Hamas in the enclave, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry told AFP.

world Updated: Jan 19, 2009 22:13 IST

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was set to visit the Gaza Strip on Tuesday following the deadly Israeli offensive on Hamas in the enclave, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry told AFP.

"Ban is planning to begin his trip in Jerusalem and from there he will visit several UN sites in Gaza," Yossi Levy told AFP, adding that "the plan might still be subject to changes."

This will be Ban's first visit to the Hamas-ruled territory which was pummelled by the Israeli military during the 22-day offensive that ended on Sunday leaving more than 1,300 people dead.

The secretary general also planned to visit the Israeli town of Sderot, five kilometres (three miles) from the Gaza border, which has been hit by thousands of rockets from Palestinian militants in recent years.