Ismail Haniya, prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip at the Rafah Crossing this week
Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya (pictured) will visit Iran and Qatar at the end of January, his adviser told Palestine newspaper on Thursday. © Said Khatib - AFP
Ismail Haniya, prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip at the Rafah Crossing this week
AFP
Last updated: January 12, 2012

Gaza Hamas leader to visit Iran and Qatar

Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya will visit Iran and Qatar at the end of January, his adviser told Palestine newspaper on Thursday.

Haniya, who has just returned from his first trip abroad since the Islamist movement forcibly took control of Gaza in 2007, would visit Iran and Qatar as part of a wider tour of the Muslim world, Yusef al-Rizq told the newspaper, which is close to Hamas.

"The second stage of prime minister Ismail Haniya's tour will kick off at the end of January and will include Qatar, Iran and several other Islamic countries," Rizq said, hailing the success of the first stage which included stops in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia.

"The political blockade the world imposed on the government Hamas formed after its 2006 electoral victory has come to an end in the wake of the prime minister's tour which saw him received in all the countries he visited as the head of government," he said.

Haniya said he had found a great willingness to help the Palestinians and "to break the blockade imposed on Gaza and its government" in all the countries he visited.

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