Gaza leader to travel for 1st time since takeover

AP News
Posted: Dec 19, 2011 8:22 AM
Gaza leader to travel for 1st time since takeover

An aide says Gaza's prime minister is planning his first official trip outside the territory since the militant Hamas movement overran it in June 2007.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's political adviser, Yusef Rizka, says the Gaza leader will travel in the near future to Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar and Tunisia. He says the four nations all invited Haniyeh to visit.

No date has been set.

Haniyeh has not left Gaza since the Hamas takeover due to tensions with neighboring Egypt, fighting with Israel and domestic issues. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel and the West because of its bloody attacks against Israelis, and its Gaza regime is not internationally recognized.

Egypt's new rulers have warmed up to Hamas since longtime President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.