Tens of thousands of people gathered at the al Qatiba complex near Gaza city to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the of Palestinian, Islamist group, Hamas. Khaled Meshaal gave an impassioned and fiery speech vowing to never recognize Israel’s right to exist. He said the Palestinians would never allow any of the land to be ceded to the Israelis. It was Meshaal’s first ever visit to Gaza and was preceded by a speech by a masked spokesman for Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. He told the crowd, “We will cut the hand that extends in aggression against our people and leaders.” He continued, “As long as Palestine is ours and Palestine is the land of Arabism and Islam, we can never recognise the legitimacy of Israel’s occupation of it.” At the center of the rally in Gaza was a replica of the type of rocket fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in last months conflict. The rocket has Made in Gaza written on it. On Meshaal’s agenda is a reconciliation with Fatah, and according to those inside Gaza, there may be a significant announcement forthcoming. Of course if reconciliation does occur and the harsh rhetoric continues, there will be no reason for the sides to head back to the negotiating table. It’s quite untenable, but war like, religious people are generally not the most intelligent or open-minded. Israel has not guaranteed the safety of Meshaal and the Palestinians have not asked for any guarantees, meaning his life might be in jeopardy. But the Israeli’s would probably prefer not to martyr Meshaal at this time. So his safety should be assured. Israel for her part, will continue moving forward with the building of three-thousand housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and will not cease as long as the harsh rhetoric continues. Israel announced the building of the new housing in response to the UN upgrade of the Palestinians to non-member observer state. It’s actually a bargaining chip for the Israelis but if no one takes the bait, Israel’s expansion will continue until its completion. The peace process is all but dead and Israel and the Palestinians will continue the cycle of war and truce indefinitely.