The Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has arrived in Gaza from Egypt on what is billed as a ‘historic trip’ by the Islamist group Hamas who have been in power since 2007.
The Emir and his large delegation were greeted by a Hamas honour guard and Palestinian and Qatari flags decorated the route on the main road north to the city of Gaza, a key highway that Qatar will rebuild.
But the visit has received criticism from the Israeli government and main stream Palestinian leaders. As Hamas, came to power after a brief battle with the armed wing of the Abbas' Fatah movement. Which refuses to renounce violence or to recognise Israel's right to exist and it is ostracised by the West as a terrorist organisation.
However Haniya, who is head of the Hamas government in the Strip, was at great pains to deny, that by linking with Qatar and accepting it’s funding after falling out with Iran and Syria. Hamas is seeking to create its own state, in the tiny enclave. Which is under partial blockade by Israel, with Egypt helping to enforce the Jewish states' restrictions.
Written and presented by Ann Salter