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Lebanon's Nasrallah says Hezbollah Won't Recognize Israel


The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has told supporters that his group would never recognize Israel. Nasrallah was reacting to American conditions for dialogue, including recognition of the state of Israel.

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group was clear in his statement about the group's position on Israel.

"Today, tomorrow, and even after 100 years or 1,000 years, we, in Hezbollah, will never recognize Israel," Nasrallah said.

In a speech marking the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, Hassan Nasrallah said he rejected American conditions for dialogue, including recognition of the state of Israel.

The United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has called on the Shi'ite group to renounce violence.

This week, the White House reiterated that position adding that Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas movement must recognize Israel before they can open a dialogue with the United States.

Nasrallah spoke via a video link from an unknown location through a giant screen to hundreds of supporters who gathered in Hezbollah's stronghold of Beirut's southern suburbs.

Nasrallah said that a time would come when Hezbollah would impose its own conditions for opening a dialogue.

He says before America puts conditions on Hezbollah to start a dialogue with them, we would like to ask Hezbollah if they are ready to start dialogue with the Americans, If they are ready for this will it be without conditions or have they also got conditions.

Nasrallah also welcomed Arab reconciliation efforts and called on Arab nations to show support for Iran, which backs Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt held talks with Syria in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, this week, in a bid to mend rifts.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a brutal 34-day war in the region in 2006. More than 1,200 people in Lebanon - most of them civilians - and 159 in Israel died in the conflict.

Both Hezbollah and the hardline Islamic Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, have said repeatedly that they would not recognize Israel. Iran, which supports both groups, has made similar statements.

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