Qatar's emir has received a hero's welcome in the Gaza Strip as he became the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territory since Islamist Hamas militants took control in 2007.
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.