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Mashaal 'to visit Gaza in December'

Nov. 25, 2012 4:11 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 27, 2012 10:24 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Exiled Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal plans to visit the Gaza Strip for the first time next month, informed sources told Ma'an on Sunday.

Mashaal hopes to attend the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Islamist movement in Gaza.

Ahmad Yousef, a former adviser to Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, told Ma'an that Mashaal will be in Gaza soon, but the details of his trip will be confidential.

Mashaal, 56, took over as Hamas leader following the 2004 assassinations of Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement's founder. With both of them killed in the Gaza Strip, Mashaal has led Hamas from the relative safety of exile.

He narrowly survived a 1997 Israeli attempt to kill him when two agents injected him with poison in broad daylight on a street outside his office in the Jordanian capital.

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