UPDATE: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal arrives in Gaza Strip

Reuters , Friday 7 Dec 2012

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) kisses Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal upon Meshaal's arrival at the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip December 7, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal arrived in the Gaza Strip on Friday, witnesses said, ending 45 years of exile from the Palestinian Territories with a visit that underscored the Islamist group's growing confidence.

Meshaal will spend barely 48 hours in the coastal enclave and attend a mass rally on Saturday that has been billed as both a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas and a "victory" celebration after its recent war with Israel.

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