News / Middle East

    Qatar's Leader Visits Gaza

    Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, right, and Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, left, during Emir's  visit to Gaza Oct. 23, 2012.
    Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, right, and Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, left, during Emir's visit to Gaza Oct. 23, 2012.
    VOA News
    Qatar's emir received a hero's welcome in the Gaza Strip Tuesday when he became the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territory since Islamist Hamas militants took control in 2007. 
     
    Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh greeted Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on a red carpet after the Qatari leader crossed over from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday. 
     
    In a visit lasting several hours, Sheikh Hamad inaugurated a Qatari aid program to help Gaza rebuild from the damage caused by an Israeli offensive against Hamas in 2008.  The program includes a new housing development to be named in his honor in the southern city of Khan Younis. 
     
    The Hamas leader also praised the Qatari emir for breaking what he called the "political and economic blockade imposed on Gaza by the forces of injustice." 
     
    Sheikh Hamad's visit marks a diplomatic boost for Hamas, which is shunned by Western powers which see the rival West Bank government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians.
     
    Shortly after the emir left Gaza, Israeli air strikes killed three Hamas militants who Israel says were about to fire rockets into its territory.  Earlier Tuesday, a Palestinian terrorist bomb seriously wounded an Israeli soldier patrolling the border with Gaza.

    • Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, left, and Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, right, arrive for the corner-stone laying ceremony for Hamad, a new residential neighborhood in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip October 23, 2012.
    • Palestinian Hamas security officers guard Gaza's main road as they wait for the convoy of the Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani to arrive in Gaza City, October 23, 2012.
    • Qatar's First Lady Sheika Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned attends a welcome ceremony upon her arrival at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, southern Gaza Strip, October 23, 2012.
    • Members of Hamas security forces sit between posters depicting senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Qatar's Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (R) in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 22, 2012.
    • Palestinian tailors Eyad Absi, left and Salama Ashour make Qatari flags in a shop for Tuesday's official visit of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in Gaza City, October 21, 2012.
    • A Palestinian worker walks behind posters of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, left, and Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, right, in preparation for the upcoming visit to Gaza at Palestine Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.
    • The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani waves to crowds as he sits next to Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh following a welcome ceremony in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Madaline from: France
    October 24, 2012 11:13 AM
    hey Bone head, we need Israel to inflict some real harm on these repulsive Arabs... who should have more "backbone"? we need to encourage Israel - they are fighting for our freedoms, we have grown too effete - too accommodating - too multicultural... we stand in need for others to fight for our freedoms... it is an undignified posture to be in - I agree - but when Israel fights our fight to preserve our freedoms we ought to encourage them... at the very least...!!!

    by: Hi Bone from: Sweden
    October 24, 2012 9:24 AM
    the World has changed since 2009... Israel is at the forefront of the defense of our civilization... we wish you could show a bit more backbone...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora