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Dec 10, 2012

Hamas chief ends Gaza visit with Palestinian unity call

GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal ended his first visit to the Gaza Strip on Monday with a pledge his Islamist movement would strive to heal political rifts with Palestinian rivals who hold sway in the occupied West Bank.

His comments reinforced promises he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the rival Fatah movement, made to each other in a telephone conversation a month ago, to forge ahead with a stalled unity deal opposed by Israel.

Dec 10, 2012

Hamas chief ends Gaza visit with call for Palestinian unity

GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal ended his first visit to the Gaza Strip on Monday with a pledge his Islamist movement would strive to heal political rifts with Palestinian rivals who hold sway in the occupied West Bank.

His comments reinforced promises he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the rival Fatah movement, made to each other in a telephone conversation a month ago, to forge ahead with a stalled unity deal opposed by Israel.

Dec 9, 2012

Divided over Israel, Palestinian groups call for unity

GAZA/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Leaders of the feuding Palestinian factions, the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza and the secular Fatah government in the West Bank, urged reconciliation between the two former foes on Sunday despite diverging policies on Israel.

Fatah and Hamas have been at loggerheads since the latter pulled off a surprise win in 2006 parliamentary polls. A brief, bloody civil war a year later saw Hamas eject Fatah from Gaza, leaving Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, to consolidate his power base in the West Bank.

Dec 8, 2012

Feted in Gaza, Hamas leader hits out at Israel

GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, in an uncompromising speech during his first ever visit to Gaza after decades of exile, told a mass rally on Saturday he would never recognise Israel and pledged to “free the land of Palestine inch by inch”.

A sea of flag-waving supporters filled wasteland in Gaza city to hear his fiery speech at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of his Islamist group, which has ruled Gaza – a small splinter of coastal land – since 2007.

Dec 8, 2012

Feted in Gaza, Hamas leader to attend “victory rally”

GAZA (Reuters) – After receiving a hero’s welcome on his return from decades in exile, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal will attend a rally in Gaza on Saturday to mark the founding of his Islamist group and celebrate “victory” over Israel.

At least 200,000 Palestinians are expected to attend the outdoor event, which is likely to be used by Meshaal to promote Hamas’s growing stature in the Arab world and push the case for reconciliation with its secular political rival, Fatah.

Dec 7, 2012

Joy at return of Hamas leader tinged by unity regret

GAZA, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Policemen kissed him, crowds mobbed
him and gunfire rattled out in celebration as Hamas leader
Khaled Meshaal made his first ever visit to the Gaza Strip.

But the scenes of joy at his arrival in this small splinter
of land could not disguise deep-rooted disunity between the
Palestinian factions, ensuring its people remain divided both
geographically and politically.

Dec 7, 2012

Emboldened Hamas leader ends exile, visits Gaza

GAZA, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal arrived
in the Gaza Strip on Friday, ending 45 years of exile from
Palestinian land with a visit that underscored the Islamist
group’s growing confidence following a recent conflict with
Israel.

After passing through the Egyptian border crossing, Meshaal
knelt on the ground to offer a prayer of thanks and was then
greeted by dozens of officials from an array of competing
Palestinian factions lined up to meet him in warm December sun.

Dec 7, 2012

Emboldened Hamas leader to visit Gaza for first time in 45 years

GAZA, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Hamas’s exiled leader will step onto
Palestinian land for the first time in 45 years on Friday for a
“victory rally” in the Gaza Strip, displaying his newfound
confidence after last month’s conflict with Israel.

The Islamist group’s leader, Khaled Meshaal, who has not
visited the Palestinian Territories since leaving the West Bank
at age 11, emerged emboldened from the eight day conflict which
ended in a truce he negotiated under Egypt’s auspices. He has
since spoken of reaching out to other Palestinian factions.

Dec 5, 2012

Hamas chief to make first visit to Gaza on Friday

GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal will make his first visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday to attend the Palestinian Islamist group’s 25th anniversary rally, Hamas sources said on Wednesday.

The two-day visit comes in the wake of last month’s air offensive by Israel against Hamas and other armed Islamist factions to stop them firing rockets from the enclave at southern Israeli towns.

Dec 3, 2012

Haniyeh urges friendly states to help Gaza rebuild

GAZA (Reuters) – Gaza’s prime minister has appealed to Arab states and friends of the Palestinian people to help pay for reconstruction after a week of Israeli aerial attacks on the enclave inflicted damage assessed at between $250 million and $545 million.

“We urge Arab brothers and the international community to stand beside the Palestinian people and Gaza in order that we can reconstruct what has been destroyed by the occupation (Israel) and to rehabilitate the infrastructure,” Ismail Haniyeh told Reuters Television.

    • About Nidal

      "I have been Reuters senior correspondent in Gaza since 1996 working alongside a team of photographers and video journalists covering one of the world's perennial 'hot spots'."
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