GAZA (Reuters) - Thousands of Hamas militants paraded with weapons through the streets of Gaza City on Sunday in the group's largest show of force in years, defying Palestinian efforts to ban public arms displays. ADVERTISEMENT The march by 10,000 members of the Islamic faction's armed wing also dealt a blow to hopes that Israel's withdrawal of its army from the Gaza Strip last week could lead to a quick resumption of peace talks for Palestinian statehood. Israel has said it would not resume talks under a U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan unless the Palestinians disarm militants such as Hamas, bent on Israel's destruction. Hamas leaders vowed to continue fighting Israel as tens of thousands cheered and waved the group's green flags and masked gunmen hoisted assault rifles, rockets and anti-tank missiles. "We will not rest and will not abandon the path of Jihad and martyrdom as long as one inch of our land remained in the hands of the Jews," said Raed Sa'ed, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza City, using the Arabic term for holy war. The demonstration, which Hamas called its largest armed protest since its founding in the late 1980s, openly defied Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who vowed in a speech last Tuesday he would not tolerate the "chaos of weapons." "We are here addressing a clear message to whom it may concern that anybody who tries to crack down on Hamas is going to fail," said Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas leader. Mushir al-Masri, a group spokesman, called it a message to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "that thousands of Qassam men will remain and not disband," referring to Hamas's military wing. SHARON PLANS SUMMIT WITH ABBAS Sharon, in New York, announced plans to meet Abbas on October 2, but made clear he would not move ahead on peace talks unless the Palestinians met "road map" demands to disarm militants. "I would very much like to help Abu Mazen," Sharon told U.S. Jewish leaders, using Abbas's nickname. "I am going to see him on the second of October." He did not say where. The two leaders last met in June, in Jerusalem. Palestinians had said the two would meet in early October. Sharon also said Israel would not help facilitate Palestinian balloting in a January 25 legislative poll if Hamas participates as it intends, unless the group were disarmed and canceled a charter calling for Israel's destruction. Hamas and other militants saw the Israeli pullout from Gaza, and its removal of the first settlements from land Palestinians seek for a state, as a victory in a nearly five-year uprising. Palestinians have welcomed the end of 38 years of Israeli military rule in Gaza, home to 1.4 million Palestinians, but worry Israel may now seek to strengthen its grip on settlements in the occupied West Bank it vows to keep. In southern Gaza, Palestinian security forces plugged breaches in Gaza's border with Egypt to end a chaotic flood of people in both directions since Israel's pullout on September 12. Israel ceded control of the buffer zone on the frontier to Egypt as part of its Gaza withdrawal. But the 750 Egyptian officers who deployed there did not stop thousands of Palestinians and Egyptians from crossing through holes, some blasted by militants. One gap had been left in the walls and fences to allow people to return home, witnesses said. Palestinian and Egyptian forces checked documents to make sure nobody else could cross. "The chaos that existed is over," Abbas told reporters as he toured the zone.