Hamas delegation leaves Gaza via Egypt: sources

09:12, March 04, 2011      

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A high-ranking Hamas delegation left the Gaza Strip on Thursday, embarking on an Arab tour for the first time since Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid unrest in Egypt, sources said.

The delegation, which was led by Mahmoud Zahar, a member of the Islamic movement's politburo and included Khalil al-Haya, another political bureau member, and justice minister in the deposed Hamas government Mohammed al-Ghoul, left via the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, Hamas sources told Xinhua.

The three plan to visit Sudan and Syria in which the politburo of the Gaza ruler Hamas is based. It is not known whether the delegation will meet with any Egyptian officials.

It had been difficult for Hamas officials to travel through Rafah, the only gate for the Gazans to the outside world, when Mubarak was Egypt's president.

Besides, the sources said Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's Armed Forces Supreme Council, phoned deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya Thursday and thanked Haneya for safeguarding the Gaza-Egypt borders during Egypt's unrest.

Haneya urged Tantawi to open the Rafah crossing on more regular basis and allow more categories of Palestinians to move through the crossing point in both directions, the sources said.

Source: Xinhua
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