JERUSALEM – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken a helicopter tour of the Israel-Gaza border, viewing the volatile front from the air before visiting the isolated territory.
Guterres was accompanied Wednesday by Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, and Aviv Kochavi, Israel's deputy military chief. Danon warned Guterres that Gaza's Hamas rulers have been exploiting international humanitarian aid to dig tunnels aimed at attacking Israel. He says: "Instead of working to ensure a better future for their children, Hamas has turned the residents of Gaza into hostages."
Guterres met local Israeli residents before heading to Gaza.
Guterres is on his first visit to the region since taking office at the beginning of the year. His meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders are aimed at encouraging the resumption of peace talks.