At a massive rally Friday celebrating the 34th anniversary of Hamas’s founding, co-founder of the terror group Mahmoud al-Zahar said Palestinians will not relinquish “an inch” of the land they view as theirs.
“The participation of thousands in these marches commemorating the launch anniversary [of Hamas] confirms that the Palestinian individual cannot give up his right, and refuses to forfeit not an inch of his land,” al-Zahar said, according to Palestinian media reports.
Hamas does not recognize Israel and often declares its intention of setting up a state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, eradicating Israel.
The anniversary comes as amid a string of recent Palestinian terror attacks, with four taking place in Jerusalem alone, including a deadly shooting committed by a member of Hamas.
Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said at the rally that Jerusalem would remain at the center of the conflict with Israel.
“It is a red line, and defending it is a sacred duty,” al-Masri said according to a statement released by the terror group.
Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, having extended sovereignty throughout the city after capturing East Jerusalem from its Jordanian occupiers in the 1967 war.
Previous unrest in Jerusalem was seized upon by Hamas to fire rockets at the city in May, sparking 11 days of intense fighting that saw more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israel and the IDF carry out some 1,500 strikes on Gaza.
Since a ceasefire was declared on May 21, the Egyptian military has led an effort to negotiate a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, including a prisoner exchange.
Hamas has warned that events in Jerusalem could see a resumption of hostilities.
Agencies contributed to this report.