Hamas will not recognise Israel despite fresh pressures to do so and will give priority to building resistance, the movement's leader Khaled Meshaal said on Friday. Addressing a rally in Damascus to mark the end of the Israeli attack on Gaza Strip a year ago, Meshaal said Hamas does not want another war with Israel but it will stick to armed struggle as a means to liberate occupied land.
"Hamas will keep rejecting the occupation and refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. Priority will remain building and developing the resistance," said Meshaal, according to Reuters. "Pressure, siege, temptations and opening doors or communication channels will not fool Hamas, which will not compromise on the rights. Hamas will be only tempted by restoring the land," the Hamas chief said.
"Triumphant Gaza today is still wounded. Its houses are still destroyed. It's still under siege and its borders are still closed. Add to this the new steel wall," Meshaal said, referring to a structure being built by Egypt along its border with Gaza to stop the smuggling of arms and goods into the strip.
"Today we do not seek war but if war is imposed on us we will fight fiercely," Meshaal said.