The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas remains strong and will emerge victorious from the current military confrontation with Israel, its leader has said.
"Our infrastructure is intact. We have only lost the very, very least of our capacities in the Israeli aggression," Khaled Meshaal said in a televised speech broadcast late on Friday, January 2.
Israel mounted more than 30 air strikes on several targets on Friday, one of which killed three Palestinian children aged between 8 and 12 as they played on a Gaza street.
At least 431 Palestinians have been killed and more than 2,200 wounded in a week-long Israeli offensive against the overcrowded strip, home to 1.6 million.
But the massive bombardment has failed to halt rocket firing from into Israel, the alleged main objective of the onslaught.
Scores of Grad rockets were fired at different targets within Israel, especially in the southern city of Ashkelon, earlier in Friday.
A barrage of more than 50 rockets were fired at southern Israel on Thursday, one of which scored a direct hit on an eight-floor residential building in the northern Negev city of Ashdod, nearly 40 kilometers from Gaza.
Rockets continued exploding over the course of the afternoon in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva, cities previously considered out of the range of Gaza rockets.
Four Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets since Saturday.
The Hamas leader stressed that resistance fighters were charging their batteries for Israeli soldiers if they dare invade Gaza.
"You the soldier of Israel should know that your leaders will be sending you to your death," said a confident Meshaal.
"If you commit a foolish act by raiding Gaza, who knows, we may have a second or a third or a fourth Shalit," he said, referring to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was taken prisoner by resistance fighters more than two years ago.
Israel has amassed tanks and infantry troops on the borders with the Gaza Strip amid reports of a possible invasion.
Awaiting a decision by the political leadership, ground forces are in the final stages of preparations for an invasion into Gaza.
The Israeli army is recommending a major, but relatively short-term, ground offensive.
But such an operation will have to be waged in densely populated urban areas, which experts say give an advantage to the Palestinian resistance fighters.
"We are ready for the challenge, this battle was imposed on us and we are confident we will achieve victory because we have made our preparations," said Meshaal.
"Our fighters will battle you from door to door, from house to house and from street to street," he added.
"Despite the destruction of the infrastructure and the killing of civilians, Gaza will win."
The Hamas leader extended heart-felt thanks to the people of the world for supporting the people of bombed-out Gaza.
"They thank you for showing solidarity with Gaza."
From Jakarta to London, a wave of protest swept the four corners of the globe Friday Israel’s Gaza onslaught.
More than 10,000 marched through the Indonesian capital and Israeli flags were burnt and trampled upon.
Thousands of protesters marched through Istanbul waving Palestinian flags and chanting "Israeli murderers, get out of Palestine" and "Muslims, don’t sleep, defend Palestine."
In London, protestors gathered outside the Israeli embassy to condemn the Israeli offensive.
A group of politicians and celebrities held a press conference to denounce the attacks.
"Gaza thanks you for staging demonstrations and laying pressures on your governments to end the Israeli aggression," said Meshaal.
But the Hamas leader criticized the double-standards of some western countries and US President-elect Barak Obama.
"Mr. Obama you started off the wrong way. You rushed to condemn the Mumbai attacks but kept your silence about the slaughter of hundreds in Gaza."
Obama, holidaying in Hawaii, has made no public remarks on Israel’s unrelenting military assault on the Palestinian territory.
Protesters had gathered at Obama’s transition office in Washington DC and outside his holiday residence in Hawaii to demand he do more to save Gaza.
Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has called upon Obama to "please, say something about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced by the Palestinian people, by the people of Gaza."
Meshaal said Hamas would not submit to Israel’s conditions despite complicity by some international powers.
"Our demand is clear; the aggression must end immediately, the siege lifted and the crossings opened."