The No. 2 official in Hamas declared Saturday in an interview with the Associated Press that it will not halt arming Gaza militants.
Moussa Abu Marzook made the comments just three days after the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in four years broke out last week.
“There is no way to relinquish weapons,” Abu Marzook told the Associated Press. “These weapons protected us and there is no way to stop obtaining and manufacturing them,” he said in his office on the outskirts of Cairo.
Hamas is suspected to have stockpiled a large arsenal of thousands of rockets since the last round of fighting ended four years ago. It has been said that the group has been smuggling weapons through tunnels under the border with Egypt.
Last week, Hamas fired Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets that were enroute to Tel Aviv, Israel’s capital and Jerusalem for the first time. They were intercepted by Israeli missile defense systems.