Hamas leaders were honored by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the "Fifth International Conference In Support of Palestine Intifada" held in Tehran last October.
To mark its 24th anniversary in December, Hamas' armed wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, boasted killing 1,365 Israelis since its founding and firing over 11,000 rockets at Israel.
Addressing a rally to mark the anniversary, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh promised to "lead intifada after intifada" until Palestine was "liberated."
Held under the banner of "Jerusalem, We are Coming," the Dec. 14 rally was attended by many children dressed in military outfits and brandishing fake weapons.
"Anyone who thinks that Hamas has, or will, change is living under an illusion," said Hamas official Osama Hamdan in the wake of the group's agreement to join the PLO.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh: "We promise you that we will not cede a single part of Palestine, we will not cede Jerusalem, we will continue to fight and we will not lay down our arms." (Jan. 8)
Hamas has warned the Palestinian Authority against returning to talks with Israel. "We demand a boycott of this meeting," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar: "Hamas will never give up its armed struggle against the Zionist enemy." (Jan. 23)
At a February rally marking the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh vowed that his group would never recognize Israel.
Taking advantage of the turmoil in the region, Hamas has smuggled advanced weaponry from Libya and established forward bases in the Sinai Peninsula.