In a historic visit to the Gaza Strip, the head of Hamas' Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, entered through the Rafah border crossing to participate in Hamas' 25th anniversary celebrations. Meshaal, who burst into tears upon arrival, was met by Gaza's Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyyeh, a large number of Hamas leaders and ministers, leaders of the Palestinian Legislative Council and factions and leaders of the security forces.
Today, Meshaal had several stops along Salah al-Din street which links the north and south of Gaza while well-wishers lined the streets with decorations and green banners of welcome.
His first stop was a visit to the house of the movement's founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, where he re-confirmed the movement's adherence to the path of reconciliation, unity and resistance until the whole of Palestine is liberated.
"This is a great day and this is a great moment. From this house, from this modest house the light was ignited; the giant of jihad and resistance was ignited" he said.
He then visited the house of Mohammed al-Mahi who was a companion of the martyr al-Ja'bari and Meshaal's photographer. He then visited the house of the martyred commander, Ahmed al-Ja'bari. During the visit to the Shujaiya district of Gaza, Meshaal said "I swear to God that the Eight Day War was an accomplishment and victory achieved by the Palestinian Resistance on Gazan Territory and there was a great benefit in it for Abu Mohammad."
Finally, Meshaal visited the house of the al-Dalou family which was destroyed by the occupation in an atrocity which killed the 12 Palestinians inside. He conveyed his condolences to them and rallied the masses who gave him a warm wlecome. It is expected that Meshaal will speak at the anniversary festivities tomorrow.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad