GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Qatar's flags are flapping in the Gaza Strip as Palestinians welcome that country's ruler, the first head of state to visit the territory since the Islamic militant Hamas seized power there five years ago.
An honor guard awaits Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at Gaza's southern border crossing, where he is set to enter from Egypt Tuesday morning. A song called "Thank you, Qatar" is playing on the radio.
Issam Da'aless, an adviser to Gaza's Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, says the emir will travel with his wife and Crown Prince Tamim bin Hamad. Thousands of troops have been mobilized to secure the visit.
The emir will deliver more than $250 million in aid to the territory, a move that will ease Hamas' international isolation.