The exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has arrived in the Gaza Strip today. In what is being called a highly significant visit as it ends his 45 years of exile from Palestinian land. And cements the growing role of Palestine as an acknowledged political and military power in the Gaza region and in turn on the international political stage.
After passing through the Egyptian border crossing, Meshaal knelt on the ground to offer a prayer of thanks and was then greeted by dozens of officials from an array of competing Palestinian factions lined up to meet him in warm December sun.
Although Meshaal will stay for little more than 48 hours in the Gaza Strip, which his Islamist group has ruled since a 2007. Hamas are taking the opportunity to host an open-air rally tomorrow to celebrate last month's fight with Israel, and at the same time commemorate the 25th anniversary of the group's founding.
I am Ann Salter thanks for watching. Stay tuned for the latest news and updates with me at ibtimes.co.uk
Written and presented by Ann Salter