RAFAH, Gaza Strip - The Emir of Qatar entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday for a visit that will raise the prestige of its isolated Islamist rulers in the Hamas movement, but disappoint Israel and mainstream Palestinian leaders in the West Bank.
Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani crossed into Gaza from Egypt at the head of a large delegation on what is billed as a humanitarian visit to inaugurate $250 million worth of reconstruction projects.
He was given a red-carpet welcome by Hamas officials as he crossed into the small, coastal territory, which is under a stringent Israeli blockade and has restricted access for visitors via the Egyptian frontier.
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