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Hero's welcome as exiled Hamas leader returns to Gaza

Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal gestures to the crowd during a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas in Gaza City on Dec. 8.

Reuters reports: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, in an uncompromising speech during his first ever visit to Gaza after decades of exile, told a mass rally on Saturday he would never recognize Israel and pledged to "free the land of Palestine inch by inch." A sea of flag-waving supporters filled wasteland in Gaza city to hear his fiery speech at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of his Islamist group, which has ruled Gaza - a small splinter of coastal land - since 2007. Full Story

Meshal arrived Friday for his first visit to Gaza since 1967, when he left at the age of 11 as Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War.

 

Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, left, and senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, right, wave to the crowd as they leave a rally in Gaza City on Dec. 8.

Ali Ali / EPA

Young Hamas supporters attenda rally for the 25th anniversary of the ruling party in Gaza City on Dec. 8.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

Palestinians watch the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Hamas movement in Gaza City on Dec. 8.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

A Palestinian woman gestures during a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas in Gaza City.

Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters

A Palestinian boy wearing a military suit and acarrying mock missile shakes hands with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal during a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas in Gaza City on Dec. 8.

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