Ismael Haniya, the legitimate Palestinian Prime Minister, told foreign dignitaries visiting Gaza last month that Hamas wouldn't abandon its principles under pressure.
"We will not cave in to pressure, we will not betray our people's trust, we will not recognize the illegitimate Zionist entity. This has always been our stance, and it will never change."
Haniya suggested that when it comes to recognizing the evil Zionist entity, the PLO represented only itself, not the entire Palestinian people.
He pointed out that acknowledging the legitimacy of the Zionist regime effectively meant a tacit recognition of all the hideous crimes committed by Israel, including the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinian refugees from their ancestral homeland.
No person under the sun, he said, has the right to compromise the right of the refugees to return to their homes and towns from which they were expelled at gunpoint.
"These people were expelled from their homes. This is the problem. And the solution is very clear. They must return to their homes."
The democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister said Israel wanted to destroy the Hamas movement in order to impose capitulation upon the Palestinian people.
Speaking during a reception in Gaza in honor of the Jordanian Medical Mission on Friday, 27 March, Haniya said the Palestinian people and its Arab and Muslim brothers thwarted Zionist efforts.
"We and you are facing the same enemy, it is the enemy of all Arabs and Muslims, we will not allow Israel to liquidate the paramount cause of the refugees. The refugees have only one destination, it is Palestine."
He said both Jordanians and Palestinians strongly rejected Zionist efforts and conspiracies to resettle Palestinian refugees in neighboring Arab countries.
Meanwhile, Hamas leaders both at home and in the Diaspora have rejected pressures from the American-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) and some Arab regimes to give tacit or indirect recognition of Israel in order to facilitate the formation of a Palestinian national reconciliation government that would be acceptable to the United States and the Zionist regime.
PA ex-president Mahmoud Abbas has been saying that the success of the Egyptian-mediated national reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas won't reach a breakthrough unless Hamas accepts "all PLO commitments."
This obviously includes the recognition of the apartheid Israeli state, although Israel doesn't recognize a Palestinian state and has actually killed all prospects for the creation of a viable Palestinian state on the West Bank.
Hamas's refusal to accept "all" PLO commitments has been praised by the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
In a statement leaked from his prison cell at the Askalan jail, PFLP leader Ahmed Saadat the PLO recognition of Israel and other unpopular agreements with the Zionist regime were the main cause of the present Palestinian rift.
He pointed out that the Zionist entity never really respected these agreements, saying that the opposite was true.
Meanwhile, Hamas leader Salah al Bardawil said the Islamic liberation movement would never ever even contemplate recognizing Israel.
In an interview published on 27 March, Bardawil argued strongly for national reconciliation, saying that Hamas wouldn't spare any efforts to reunite the Palestinian people.
"If we were to recognize Israel, then all problems would end, and the siege would end and the United States and Israel and Europe would embrace us. We would become the darling of the west and we wouldn't need reconciliation talks because we would be equal to the organizations that recognize Israel."
Bardawil, who is also head of the Hamas caucus in the Palestinian legislative council, said no prospective government of national unity would recognize Israel under any circumstances.
"Such a government would represent and reflect existing political forces."
Bardawil castigated as "cheap disinformation" claims by the Ramallah leadership that a government of national unity that doesn't recognize Israel will perpetuate the siege.
"This is nonsense and unrealistic because the platform of the national unity government was rejected first and foremost by those who are at America's beck and call, not by the world.
"If we press the world to recognize such a state, then the world will recognize it, but the problem is inside the Palestinian house, this is why we have to put our house in order but we should do so in a dignified manner."
Bardawil said a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas was dependent on real trust between the two sides.
"Our problem is that we don't have mutual trust for true partnership."
As to the election law, Bardawil said there was a likelihood that all contentious issues will be overcome, adding that Hamas was favoring a mixed system based on a combination of local circuits and proportional representation.
He argued that having the entire country as one electoral circuit would be unfair for independents.
"The proportional system would serve Fatah and Hamas, but there are many Palestinians who are not affiliated with either movements, and that won't be fair to them."
Some leaders within Hamas have demanded that solid international guarantees be provided in order to enable transparent and free elections to take place.
(Israel and the United States interfered heavily in favor of the Fatah organization during and after the 2006 elections, with the CIA giving Fatah millions of dollars to finance its elections campaign.)
Bardawil said disagreements regarding the PLO can be resolved democratically. He asserted that the PLO needed revival, reactivation, reform and reconstruction, adding that "we have agreed to organize elections for the Palestinian National Council which would facilitate the formation of a more representative Central Council."
Bardawil said the "real problem with the PLO of today is that it doesn't truly represent all the Palestinian people because there are popular Palestinian groups that are not represented in the PLO bodies."
No precise date has been designated for the resumption of reconciliation talks in Cairo. However, it is widely expected that the talks will be resumed after the Arab summit conference which would take place in Qatar in April.
Arab and Palestinian observers suggest that the success of the Arab summit will reflect positively on the Egyptian-mediated Palestinian reconciliation talks.