Exiled Hamas leader makes emotional visit to Gaza Strip

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh kisses Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Rafah today.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh kisses Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Rafah today. Credit: Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters

Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal broke into tears as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit.

Mashaal, who leads the Islamic militant movement from Qatar, crossed the border, kissed the ground and was greeted by a crowd of Hamas officials. He told the crowd:

"I am back in Gaza because it never left my heart. I have been dreaming of this historic moment my entire life, to come to Gaza. I ask God to give me martyrdom one day on this land."

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Hamas leader visits Gaza Strip

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is visiting the Gaza Strip for the first time, on his first trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories for 45 years.