Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal made clear on Tuesday that, despite his group’s reconciliation with Fatah, Hamas was still committed to “resistance” against Israel.
The comments were made at a gathering in Doha, Qatar, in honor of "Nakba Day", what the Arabs see as the “catastrophe” of Israel’s establishment.
"We have turned the page on this division... Hamas has already made sacrifices and this was necessary to be closer with our brothers, but with the invader we will not make any compromises," said Mashaal, according to Reuters.
"I'm aware that many real challenges lay ahead. We can overcome them," he added, referring to the April 23 pact which calls for a unity government to be formed.
"The reconciliation does not mean an end to our resistance against the invaders, resistance will continue as long as the occupation exists," stressed Mashaal, according to Reuters.
The agreement aims to bring an end to the longstanding feud between Fatah and Hamas, which began in 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody coup and started cracking down on Fatah officials living in the territory.
In response to the pact, Israel pulled out of the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Hamas has continued to be adamant over its full control of the new government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA after elections and insisting that Haniyeh would rule the government.
The group’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and its deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk has ruled out the possibility that Hamas will recognize “the Zionist entity,” even after the unity pact with Fatah.