Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters gathered in the Gaza Strip Tuesday to celebrate the organization's 23rd anniversary.
During the rally, Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh addressed the crowds and declared: "We will not recognize Israel."
Haniyeh urged the Palestinian Authority to put an end to all negotiations and security cooperation with the Jewish state. He added the group would accept "a Palestinian state with full sovereignty in the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital."
Mitchell and Abbas in Ramallah Tuesday (Photo: AP)
Meanwhile, US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell met in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and presented him with American proposals for advancing the talks with Israel.
Mitchell reiterated the US Administration's commitment to the peace process and said that America's goal was to reach an agreement that includes Syria and Lebanon. He is scheduled to return for another round of talks between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming days.
Young Hamas supporters in Gaza (Photo: AP)
In reference to the Israeli moratorium, Mitchell said he expected to face many obstacles, but added that the US Administration is determined to achieve its goal – an independent Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel.
'Israel undermining peace'After meeting Mitchell, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians expressed their demand to "end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital."
Erekat placed full responsibility for the deadlocked talks on Israel, accusing it of undermining the peace process.
According to Erekat, Israel's settlement policies and unilateral steps in Jerusalem destroyed the two-state solution.
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