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US congressman visits Gaza human rights groups - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – A U.S. congressman is visiting rights groups and students in the Gaza Strip.

Keith Ellison met earlier with Israeli security officials and Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

A U.S. Consulate spokesman in Jerusalem, Frank Finver, said the Minneapolis Democrat’s Gaza visit would last a day.

The territory under Hamas rule was devastated by last year’s Israeli offensive against the militant group. A blockade meant to cut off weapons smuggling has further weakened the economy of the impoverished Strip.

Hamas official Ahmed Yousef said the group welcomes all visitors but that it had not been informed of Ellison’s visit. The U.S. considers Hamas a terrorist organization. Ellison is the first Muslim Congressman.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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