GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday that Palestinians would not recognize Israel, despite the siege on Gaza and two wars.
"We had two wars in which hundreds of people died, and thousands of acres of land were destroyed, but Palestinians did not and will not recognize Israel," the Gaza premier said as he welcomed international activists to the enclave.
Haniyeh said Israel's blockade aimed to limit the influence of the Islamic model outside the Gaza Strip, and to isolate Palestine in an attempt to force Palestinians to recognize Israel and accept the conditions of the Mideast Quartet.
The premier thanked activists who came to Palestine, describing solidarity visits as a holy duty, and he urged more supporters to come.
Haniyeh said aid groups who visited Gaza in solidarity had a political and a humanitarian message, showing that Gaza did not stand alone.
"These groups, along with the help of God and the Palestinian steadfastness, eased the siege," he added.
The Hamas leader highlighted his government's efforts to generate support for Jerusalem.
"The (Israeli) occupation built a hundred synagogues around al-Aqsa to deceive the world and falsify facts," he added.
Haniyeh also called on Palestinians to support of the Arab and Palestinian prisoners of Israel, particularly those on hunger strike.