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posted: 10/23/2012 11:06 AM

Qatari emir cancels speech in Gaza stadium

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  • Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani arrives for cornerstone laying ceremony of a Qatari funded rehabilitation center in Gaza City, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. The emir of Qatar received a hero's welcome in Gaza on Tuesday, becoming the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territory since the Islamist militant Hamas seized control there in 2007.

      Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani arrives for cornerstone laying ceremony of a Qatari funded rehabilitation center in Gaza City, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. The emir of Qatar received a hero's welcome in Gaza on Tuesday, becoming the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territory since the Islamist militant Hamas seized control there in 2007.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- The emir of Qatar has called off a planned address to the Palestinians in Gaza City's main soccer stadium.

Hamas officials at the stadium announced the cancellation and ordered hundreds of people who gathered there on Tuesday to go home.

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The address had been the centerpiece of the emir's landmark visit to Gaza.

Hamas cited the emir's tight schedule in announcing the change. But the stadium was only about one-fifth full around the time of the cancellation.

The emir planned an address to a much smaller crowd at a Gaza university instead.

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