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World Briefing / Gaza Strip

Hamas' No. 2 reportedly visits

March 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A top Syria-based Hamas leader secretly crossed into Gaza for his first visit in decades, an Egyptian security official on the border said.

Mousa abu Marzouk entered the Gaza Strip late Thursday with three other Hamas officials before returning to Egypt the following day, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

Hamas' leadership is divided between the Gaza Strip, which the group rules, and Damascus, the Syrian capital, where its top officials live.

Abu Marzouk is No. 2 in the Hamas hierarchy. The purpose of his visit was unknown. Hamas denied he entered Gaza, and his Gaza relatives said they had not seen him.

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