Palestinian protesters surround vehicle in convoy transporting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Palestinian protesters surround vehicle in convoy transporting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Angry Palestinians vented their frustration over Israel by throwing shoes at a convoy transporting United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon into Gaza.

A group of about 50 protesters, who had convened as the UN convoy entered Gaza, accused Ban of bias toward Israel.

Many of the protesters were relatives of Palestinians being detained in Israeli prisons and complained the UN chief refused to meet with the families to discuss their plight.

Some of them held up posters that read: "Ban Ki-moon, enough bias toward Israel."

"We came here in a symbolic message to Mr Ban Ki-moon that Palestinians from Gaza want to have the right to visit their children and loved ones in Israeli jails," the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Jamal Farwana, a spokesman for Gaza prisoners' families, as saying.

"He should make more of an effort to release the prisoners and we wonder why he always avoids meeting families of Palestinian prisoners," Farwana added.

The protesters also formed a human chain in a bid to prevent the convoy from entering Gaza, but the group was removed by Hamas security forces.

It was unclear whether the vehicle transporting Ban was hit by the objects that were thrown at it, which, according to reports, ranged from shoes and slippers to sticks and stones.

Ban was en route to the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, where he is expected to inaugurate a UN-sponsored construction project.

He hopes his visit will help reignite the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.