Politburo leader of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Khaled Meshaal has said that his group would not recognize Israel, the independent Syria-News website reported on Friday.
"Hamas will not surrender ... will not recognize Israel and will not abandon armed resistance," Meshaal was quoted as saying Thursday evening in Damascus, where he lives in exile.
He said Hamas wants to join a national unity government and share power with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.
"Hamas does not want to be in power alone," he, adding that "a national unity government should take orders from the Palestinians, not from America or Israel."
Meanwhile, Meshaal said Hamas was ready to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in return for Palestinian prisoners " if there is a swap deal."
Talks over forming a Palestinian coalition government aimed at lifting an international boycott on the Hamas-led government have stalled as the group has repeatedly refused to recognize Israel.