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Crowds greet Hamas chief on 1st-ever Gaza visit

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RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group's growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel. Khaled Mashaal, who left the West Bank as a child and now leads the Islamic group from Qatar, crossed the Egyptian border and once on Gazan soil, prostrated himself in a gesture of thanksgiving, recited a traditional Islamic prayer and kissed the ground.

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