The Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, becoming the first head of state to visit the Palestinian enclave since Hamas took control of it in 2007. Hamas officials gave the emir a red-carpet welcome as he arrived on what was touted as a humanitarian visit to launch reconstruction projects using $250 million in aid from Qatar. Both Israel and Hamas' rivals in the Palestinian Authority were unhappy about the visit. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas publicly welcomed the visit, but privately his supporters said the emir was undercutting his legitimacy as leader of all Palestinians by showing support for the Islamic fundamentalists of Hamas rather than him.
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