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.