Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says the resistance movement remains committed to the liberation of the Palestinian territories from the Israeli occupation.
"Islamic resistance movement of Hamas will not back down and will continue its resistance until it achieves the freedom of its people and brings independence to the Palestinians", Haniyeh told tens of thousands of Palestinians who gathered to mark the 22nd anniversary of Hamas’ foundation in the Gaza City on Monday.
"We will never give up on Palestine from the river to the sea", the premier said, referring to the pre-1948 borders of the British Palestine Mandate between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
"It is not enough for Hamas to liberate Gaza, nor to establish an emirate in Gaza, nor a state, nor an independent entity… Hamas strives to liberate all of Palestine," Haniyeh added.
The prime minister said despite Israel’s three week war on the Gaza Strip and its long-running blockade on the territory, the movement continues to grow and gain more power.
"Those that plotted Operation Cast Lead did not imagine that we would mark the anniversary of Hamas’ establishment in such a large event," he said.
Founded in 1987, shortly after the beginning of the first intifada against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Hamas won a landslide victory in Palestinian elections in 2006, and took over Gaza in June 2007.
The movement remains committed to the establishment of an Islamic state on the pre-1948 borders of the British Palestine Mandate.