Hamas on Friday warned that a "black destiny" awaits Israel if ground forces join the Gaza Strip offensive. "If you commit the stupidity of launching a ground offensive then a black destiny awaits you," the movement's Syrian-based chief Khaled Meshaal said in a speech aired on Al-Jazeera television.
"You will soon find out that Gaza is the wrath of the God," said Meshaal.
He told the Israeli government: "You thought that the way to win the coming elections is via the invasion of Gaza but I tell you it is a mistake." If Israeli troops enter Gaza "our people will fight them from street to street," said the Hamas leader. "I ask all the sons of the (Hamas) movement to mobilise... until the aggression is over and the blockade is lifted."
Meshaal insisted that Hamas "will not surrender... (or) bow to the conditions of the enemy." "Our demand is clear that the aggression stops immediately, that all crossings reopen and the blockade is lifted," he said.
But Meshaal also said that Hamas was "ready for challenges... We are confident we will win" and he insisted that the "battle was imposed on us and we will face up to it."
Hamas has "lost very little" of its military forces in the week-long confrontation with Israel, Meshaal added.
The Hamas leader accused western countries of showing favouritism towards Israel. Addressing US president-elect Barack Obama, Meshaal said: "The start is not good." "You commented on Bombay but you say nothing about the crime of the enemy (Israel). This policy of double standards should stop," said Meshaal.