Following are excerpts from speeches by Hamas leaders at a rally, broadcast on Al-Jazeera TV on December 30, 2005.
Nizar Riyan, Hamas leader in Gaza: We shall return, we shall return. we shall return. We shall return. We shall return - despite the borders, despite the obstacles, despite the Jews. We shall regain Safed. We will regain Beit Shean. We will regain Tiberias. We will regain Ashkelon. We will regain Lod. We will regain our entire country.
Crowd: Dear Bashar - destroy Tel Aviv. Destroy Tel Aviv.
Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al: Who can tell, my brothers and sisters, when we will celebrate on this podium, the liberation of the West Bank? When will we celebrate the liberation of Jaffa, Haifa, Safed, and the Negev? When will we celebrate the departure of the last Zionist from our land? Yes. Some people ask when this will happen. Say: It could be soon. Such is our faith in Allah. We have no doubt that victory will come, and that just as we liberated Palestine from the Crusaders and from the Mongols, we will regain it – pure and purified - from the Zionist occupiers.
What was our situation like on the eve of the occupation of Iraq? Everyone was afraid that if the American train would reach Baghdad, it would storm all the capitals of the region. But this train crashed into the rock of Iraqi steadfastness. This train will turn back and return to Washington, and all the American and Zionist plots will be shattered.