The Palestinians' battle will not end with the entry of fuel
into the Strip, and even if Gaza drowns in fuel the battle won't be over, Hamas
politburo chief Khaled Mashaal said Wednesday.
Speaking at a conference in Damascus, Mashaal added that "the struggle must continue until the entire siege on the Strip is lifted and until the liberation of Palestine – all of Palestine."
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He said that the opening of the Rafah crossing
was an important achievement, adding that the crossing should be open as a condition for lifting the siege imposed on the Strip.
The rockets, Mashaal said, were not the reason for the blockade.
"We stopped the missiles before, as well as all types of resistance in a tactical manner, but this did not bring the siege to an end. Therefore, the missiles are not the reason, and the siege did not begin with the fuel and electricity crisis."
The Hamas leader spoke before hundreds of participants at the "national conference for the protection of the Palestinians' principles and rights".
The conference, which was boycotted by the organizations belonging to the PLO and which enraged Fatah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,
was attended by members of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad,
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and other organizations, as well as people not affiliated with any organization and representatives of Syrian and Lebanese groups.
The convention was scheduled to take place at the same time as the Annapolis peace conference in November, but Syria's participation in the US-sponsored meeting led to its postponement.
Abbas recently sent his representatives to Damascus in a bid to convince the Syrian leadership to ban the conference, claiming that it was aimed at creating an alternative to the PLO.