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Top Arab diplomat to Gaza in push to end blockade

world Updated: Jun 13, 2010 16:26 IST
AP
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The Arab world's top diplomat is touring Gaza to push for the lifting of a 3-year-old blockade of the territory.

Sunday's visit by Arab League chief Amr Moussa is the first by a senior Arab official since the Islamic militant Hamas movement seized the territory in 2007.

He will meet with Gaza's top Hamas official, in a boost for the widely shunned movement.

The trip signals a shift in policy following Israel's deadly raid of a blockade-busting flotilla two weeks ago.

Many Arab countries held Hamas at arms length and Egypt has been Israel's partner in keeping Gaza sealed.

However, widespread outrage in the Arab and Muslim world over the raid prompted Arab leaders to join the growing international demands for opening Gaza's borders.