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Hezbollah chief calls for demonstrations until Gaza siege ends
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18:48, December 16, 2008

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Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah called for open-ended demonstrations in Lebanon until the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip is lifted, local Naharnet website reported Tuesday.

"Our actions will start Friday and will not end until the Gaza siege is lifted," Nasrallah said in a televised speech broadcast on Al-Manar TV Monday night.

The rallies will be staged at the southern suburbs of Beirut, a stronghold of the Shiite armed Hezbollah group, according to the Hezbollah chief.

Nasrallah believed the Israeli restrictions of Gaza are aimed at breaking down the will of the Palestinian people, "so that the Zionists can impose their conditions."

Gaza, home to some 1.4 million residents, today witnesses hunger, coldness and shelling, he said, noting that there are half a million people in Gaza facing sickness and death.

Israel and Egypt sealed off their borders with the impoverished Gaza in June 2007 after the Islamic Hamas movement seized control of security installations in the coastal enclave.

Hezbollah has vowed to keep its arms as long as Israel poses a threat, and Nasrallah had promised many times to "wipe Israel from the surface of the earth."


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