The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, vowed on Friday that his Shi'ite militant organization would never recognize Israel and that no Arab state had the right to do so either.

"No one has the right to recognize this entity [Israel] or approve its legitimacy," the black-turbaned Nasrallah said in a televised address to ceremonies marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day, an annual occasion created by Hezbollah's patron Iran to show support for the Palestinians.

Nasrallah's comments came hours after President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, was unable to bridge wide gaps between Israelis and Palestinians on the terms of renewing peace talks.

Mitchell had urged the Arab world to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel as he pressed Israel to halt construction of settlements in the West Bank.

The Hezbollah leader called Israel an illegitimate cancerous entity that should be eliminated.

"We will not recognize, deal or normalize with Israel even if the whole world recognize it," he added in the speech, which was broadcast through a giant screen from a secret location to thousands of supporters who gathered in the group's stronghold south of Beirut,

Nasrallah repeated his warning to Israel not to launch a war against his group, saying the Israel Defense Forces would be crushed by his guerrillas. Israel and Hezbollah fought the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, a conflict that devastated much of south Lebanon. Since then, Hezbollah has largely refrained from firing rockets into northern Israel.

In neighboring Syria, some 5,000 people marked Jerusalem Day at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in the capital Damascus.

The head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command Ahmed Jibril told the gathering that the participation in the rally is "a call for liberating Jerusalem."