Hamas leader Meshaal visits Gaza
The political leader of Hamas resistance movement, Khaled Meshaal, has arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit to the Palestinian territory and to take part in Palestinians’ victory rally.
Meshaal entered Gaza from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing on Friday, describing his first visit to Gaza as a “third birth” and expressing his wish to become “a martyr” in the Palestinian territory.
Meshaal is from a village in the West Bank but went into exile with his family after the 1967 Middle East war, only to return for a brief visit in 1975
He said, “I consider this moment my third birth, and I pray to God that my fourth birth will be the moment when all of Palestine is liberated”.
He added, “Gaza has always been in my heart”.
Meshaal said his previous two “births” were the day he survived an assassination attempt by the Zionist regime in Jordan in 1997, and his actual birth in 1956.
Meshaal was greeted by the democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, who described the leader’s visit as “a historic event”.
Meshaal is expected to spend two days in the besieged Palestinian enclave and attend a mass rally in Gaza City on Saturday, organized to celebrate both Hamas’ recent victory over Israel and the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas.