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Hamas Leader Meshaal Pledges to Continue Resistance

RIA Novosti

07:36 09/12/2012

GAZA, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - No concessions would be made over a future Palestine state, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal said on Saturday at a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the Islamist militant movement as over 100,000 Palestinians gathered in the Gaza Strip.

"Palestine is our land and nation from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, from north to south, and we cannot cede an inch or any part of it," Meshaal said as quoted by Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera.

"We fight Zionists, not Jews. We fight whoever occupied our land, regardless of religion," he told fans. "Statehood will be the fruit of resistance, not negotiations."

Meshaal also called for Palestinian unity.

Al Jazeera reported on Friday that Meshaal has arrived in the Gaza Strip, setting foot on Palestinian soil for the first time in 37 years.

"I hope God will make me a martyr on the land of Palestine in Gaza," the channel quoted Meshaal as saying shortly after he drove through from Egypt into Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

Meshaal, according to Al Jazeera, is originally from a village in the West Bank but went into exile after the 1967 Middle East war. He only returned for a brief visit in 1975. The Hamas' leader's visit to the Palestinian enclave will last some two days.

Saturday's rally has been advertised as both a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Hamas' founding and a celebration of 'victory' over Israel in the recent eight-day fighting ended by a ceasefire. Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007.

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