Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, left, and Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh upon Meshaal's arrival at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group's growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel.
Exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, left, and Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh upon Meshaal's arrival at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. The exiled Hamas chief broke into tears Friday as he arrived in the Gaza Strip for his first-ever visit, a landmark trip reflecting his militant group's growing international acceptance and its defiance of Israel.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press .
published Friday, December 7th, 2012
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RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The image of Hamas’ long-exiled chief triumphantly walking around the Gaza Strip, flashing victory signs beside Islamic militant leaders Friday, illustrates how the group’s defiance of Israel is forcing a change in Palestinian politics.

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