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Haniyeh’s visit to Lebanon further deepens Palestinian rift

Fatah has criticized the recent visit of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, where he received a strong welcome.
Hamas' political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh greets supporters during a visit to the Ain el-Helweh camp, Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, near the southern coastal city of Sidon on September 6, 2020. (Photo by Mahmoud ZAYYAT / AFP) (Photo by MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Palestinians are still sifting through the Sept. 6 visit of Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas’ politburo, to the Ain al-Hilweh camp for Palestinian refugees in South Lebanon, where he received a warm welcome, including being carried on the shoulders of the crowd at one point.

Haniyeh’s visit to Lebanon, which began Sept. 1, was his first appearance there in 27 years. In 1992, he and more than 400 Hamas members were exiled to Lebanon by Israel; he returned to the Gaza Strip in 1993. This time, Haniyeh flew into Lebanon from Turkey.

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