WASHINGTON - Even at his final Press conference of his presidency Monday, George W Bush ignored the growing domestic and international opinion against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, saying the Jewish state has a right to defend itself against Palestinian fighters' rocket attacks. Any sustainable ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza must require that Hamas stop firing rockets, said President Bush, who leaves the office on January 20 when President-elect Barrack Obama takes over. "I'm for a sustainable ceasefire and a definition of a sustainable ceasefire is that Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel," Bush said. "And there will not be a sustainable ceasefire if they continue firing rockets." Another element of a successful ceasefire would be for Egypt to act to stop the smuggling arms into Gaza via tunnels between the strip and Egypt, and pressuring other countries to stop supplying arms to Hamas, which controls Gaza. "I happen to believe the choice is Hamas's to make," he said. Efforts to create a two-state solution in the Middle East have been in the works since 2002, Bush noted, with Israel and Lebanon accepting it as the best avenue toward peace. The effort has been "compromised by the fact people are willing to murder to stop the advance of freedom," he said. Bush also said the greatest threat to President-elect Barack Obama is the potential for another attack on the United States. "The most urgent threat that he'll have to deal with and other presidents after him will have to deal with is an attack on our homeland," he said. "You know, I wish I could report that's not the case, but there's still an enemy out there that would like to inflict damage on America. And that'll be the major threat." While Iraq is relatively calm, Bush said N Korea remained a problem and "there's a debate in the intel community about how big" as he assessed what he once called the "axis of evil." A main concern in North Korea, engaged in denuclearising the Korean peninsula, is there may be a highly enriched uranium program, which makes a strong verification regimen vital. "In other words, in order to advance our relations with North Korea, the North Korean government must honour the commitments it made to allow for strong verification measures to be in place to ensure that they don't develop a highly enriched uranium program, for example," Bush said. "So they're still dangerous and Iran is still dangerous." Bush vigorously defended his record but also offered a listing of his mistakes - including his optimistic Iraq speech before a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner in 2003. After starting what he called "the ultimate exit interview" with a lengthy and personalised thank-you to the reporters in the room who have covered him over the eight years of his presidency, Bush showed anger at times when presented with some of the main criticisms of his time in office. "I think it's a good, strong record," he said. "You know, presidents can try to avoid hard decisions and therefore avoid controversy. That's just not my nature." He particularly became indignant when asked about America's bruised image overseas. "I disagree with this assessment that, you know, that people view America in a dim light," he claimed. "It may be damaged amongst some of the elite. But people still understand America stands for freedom." Bush said he realises that some issues such as the prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have created controversy at home and around the world. But he defended his actions after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including approving tough interrogation methods for suspected terrorists and information-gathering efforts at home in the name of protecting the country. With the Iraq war in its sixth year, he most aggressively defended his decisions on that issue, which will define his presidency like no other. There have been over 4,000 US deaths since the invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. But it was in that area that he also acknowledged mistakes. He said that "not finding weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment." The accusation that Saddam had and was pursuing weapons of mass destruction was Bush's main initial justification for going to war. He also cited the abuses found to have been committed by members of the US military at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq as "a huge disappointment." "I don't know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were - things didn't go according to plan, let's put it that way," Bush said.