In his first visit to Gaza, American linguistic scholar Noam Chomsky on Thursday called on Israel to end a six-year blockade of the occupied territory.
Chomsky, 84, is a frequent critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians and American foreign policy.
He is scheduled to deliver a speech on the Arab Spring and the future of foreign policy in the region at Gaza's Islamic University on Saturday, reports Agence France-Presse.
"The Palestinian people have a right to live peacefully and in freedom," Chomsky said, according to Jamal Khudari, a member of Gaza's legislative council and head of the Islamic University administrative staff.
"Our trip to Gaza was very difficult," Chomsky said in remarks broadcast on Palestinian television, "but we arrived here and I saw several things which I hoped before to see."
Chomsky is a professor emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2010, he was barred from entering Israel when he tried to enter Gaza through Jordan to lecture at a Palestinian University, Haaretz reported.
On this trip, Chomsky is traveling with an academic delegation and coordinated his entry through Egypt.