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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. Khaled Mashaal, who left the West Bank as a child and leads the Islamic militant movement from Qatar, crossed the Egyptian border, kissed the ground, and was greeted by a crowd of Hamas officials and representatives of Hamas' rival Fatah party. He was also welcomed by a group of Palestinian orphans' children of Gaza militants killed by Israel in recent years wearing military-style uniforms.

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