Former head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, accompanied by a large delegation of Muslim scholars arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening through the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyyeh, Palestinian Legislative Council speaker, Ahmed Bahar, and a large number of Palestinian religious scholars and senior officials along with a huge crowd received and welcomed the Sheikh at the Crossing.
In a press conference Mr Haniyyeh said: "All praise is due to God who allowed these scholars join us in Gaza after the great victories that the Palestinians have achieved here (in Gaza), and the Islamic nation achieved in the Arab Spring countries."
He added: "Al-Qaradawi has been here in Gaza before this visit; in the hearts of the Palestinians everywhere. Our nation has known Al-Qaradawi through his speeches and stances in which he stood beside them in their struggle against the occupation."
Mr Haniyyeh pointed out this is the first time that Al-Qaradawi has entered the Gaza Strip in 58 years. He expressed pride that he was able to do so through the gate of Palestine and not with the permission of the Israelis.
The Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza hailed the Egyptian revolution and its support for the Palestinian people. "We have to salute all our Arab brothers, especially Qatar, which stands beside us, and Egypt, which broke the siege. Without its revolution, our scholars would not be able to visit us", he said.
On his part, Al-Qaradawi said: "We are a part of this nation which won all battles and, despite its sufferings, will triumph in the future because it is fighting for justice and rights. I am convinced of this."
He said he hoped that the Syrian people would achieve victory in their struggle against the savage Al Assad regime.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad