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Haniyeh to leave Gaza for first time since siege began

Dec. 25, 2011 10:17 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 26, 2011 2:43 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The premier of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip is to depart via Egypt on Sunday for the first time since the enclave came under siege.

Ismail Haniyeh is scheduled to visit Egypt, then Sudan and a number of other countries, according to sources in Gaza. The tour could include Turkey, Qatar, Tunis, and Bahrain, the sources say.

Haniyeh’s political adviser Muhammad Rizqa announced last week that Haniyeh would visit a number of countries including Qatar after being invited by the emir.

Hamas government spokesman Taher al-Nouno said that the tour aims to garner support for implementing political reconciliation, as well as raising awareness about Israeli violations in Jerusalem.

Haniyeh will also thank various regional countries for supporting the Gazan people living under blockade, al-Nouno said.

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