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Dec 1, 2012 Comments Off Infidel

Excerpted from Haaretz: The leader of Gaza’s ruling Hamas group will visit the Palestinian territory for the first time, an official said Saturday, a sign of increasing boldness of the Islamic militant movement after it held its own against an Israeli military offensive.

Khaled Meshal was set to arrive in the Gaza Strip next week by crossing the border from Egypt to mark Hamas’ 25th anniversary and congratulate its leaders and fighters for battling Israel during the recent eight-day offensive, according to a senior Hamas official in Gaza. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

Meshal previously had been prevented from crossing into Gaza by longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. But Mubarak was ousted in February 2011, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which has close ties to Hamas, has risen to power.

Meshal has led Hamas since 1996, helping to build the Iranian-backed movement into a potent force. Under his leadership, Hamas carried out numerous suicide bombings and other attacks on buses, cafe’s and other public places that killed hundreds of Israelis during a Palestinian uprising a decade ago. The group has been branded a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S.¬ and the European Union.

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