After receiving a hero’s welcome on his return from decades in exile, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has vowed never to recognise Israel. The trip comes just two weeks after an eight-day conflict between Israel and Hamas that ended with a ceasefire. He made his declaration at a rally attended by thousands of people to mark the militant group’s 25th anniversary. The stage for speeches was also dominated by a giant model of the Gaza made M75 missile that was fired on both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. “We will never recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take,” he said. “Abu Mazen took a small but important step at the United Nations. All we want is for this step and the Gaza victory to be used in support for Palestinian reconciliation and independence, and the right to go back to our land, and we won’t give them an inch of our original territory,” added Meshaal. To the delight of the gathered crowd, Meshaal also promised to free Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, indicating Islamist militants would try to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips.