The man who looks set to become the next Palestinian president has received a hero’s welcome in a Gaza militant stronghold.
The people turned out in force at Rafah refugee camp to greet Mahmoud Abbas – so much so that the election frontrunner struggled for space in the crowd.
He had almost cancelled the trip because of an Israeli army raid nearby that killed 12 Palestinians.
Addressing a rally in a wedding hall, he said that Rafah suffered oppression and the humiliation of occupation, but would not be defeated. After his speech the crowd became so frenzied that Abbas was forced to leave by scrambling out through a window. Rafah has lost more lives and suffered greater destruction than any other place in the last four years of the Middle East conflict.
The election to replace the late Yasser Arafat takes place on January 9th.