Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters held a peaceful rally in Gaza on Friday to denounce the state of Israel and announce that they would never recognize its right to exist. "We ask God to punish the so-called Israel and the allies of Israel and to punish those who recognize Israel and those who called on us to recognize Israel," Hamas lawmaker Mushir al-Masri told the crowd that thronged the Jabalya refugee camp.
"We vow to God that we will never recognize Israel even if we would be all killed," Masri told the cheering followers.
Masri also aimed criticism at Fatah, saying it was trying to pressure Hamas into recognizing Israel. "Those people are demanding us openly to recognize the occupation and that will never happen," Masri said.
"The protest aims to stress our rejection to recognize the legitimacy of the occupation," Masri said.
"The protest is against the siege and against the attempts by some to carry out a coup against the government," Masri added.
Masri vowed that Hamas' administration would go on governing no matter how much pressure was applied to it. "This government and the leadership of Hamas of the Palestinian people will continue throughout its legal term, for four years," Masri said.