Hamas will not recognise Israel despite new pressures on the group and will give priority to building resistance to Israeli invasion, the group's leader Khaled Meshaal said on Friday.
Meshaal made the remarks during the gathering to mark the first anniversary of the end of Israel's devastating 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip.
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, who lives in Syria along with other Hamas leaders in exile.
"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," Meshaal said.
Hamas won a parliamentary election in January 2006, ending a near-monopoly on power by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and its dominant faction, Fatah. The government Hamas formed was subject to a crippling boycott by Western aid donors, leading to a unity government between Hamas and Fatah in 2007.
Israel responded to Hamas's win in the elections with sanctions, and almost completely blockaded the impoverished coastal strip after Hamas seized power in 2007, although a 'lighter' siege had already existed before.
The Hamas politburo chief also urged Arab leaders to help break the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, and said his group will never give up its armed resistance against Israel.
Israel controls all but one of Gaza's border crossings, the Rafah terminal with Egypt, which Cairo keeps closed, drawing anger with people.
"I ask Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to add to the agenda of the Arab League summit in Tripoli (March 27-28), the issue of the reconstruction of Gaza and the end of the blockade," Meshaal 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.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had decried what he called Muslim leaders' inadequate response to Palestinian suffering in the Gaza Strip as "pitiful."
"The governments have failed to display the reactions that the world's Muslims expected from them. And this has been a pitiful aspect of the matter," Erdogan had said.
Arab countries should also forge an Arab strategy based on diplomacy and resistance in order to liberate Arab land held by Israel.
"Hamas will never relinquish the option of (armed) resistance. It will remain our priority... we will not give up our political responsibility toward our people," he said.
"Today we do not seek war but if war is imposed on us we will fight fiercely," Meshaal said.
Hamas says it will respect, not abide, by earlier agreements; that it will recognize Israel once it pulls back to the 1967 boundaries.
Hamas says it will fight until Israel ends decades of occupation and will not accept an Israel state on its own territories. Hamas defends itself, saying "armed resistance is an international legal right against an occupation".
Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip ended on January 18, 2009, with mutual ceasefires by Israel and the Palestinian movement.
The deadly offensive killed some 1,5000 Palestinians, and 13 Israelis, most of tem are soldiers, also died during "Operation Cast Lead" which devastated the impoverished coastal enclave which has already been under Israeli siege since June 2007.
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