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Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday told a crowd of supporters in a televised address that Jerusalem and Palestine would soon be returned to their rightful owners. "I think that if you consider current developments," Nasrallah told thousands of Shiite Hezbollah backers at a rally in Beirut, "the return of Jerusalem and Palestine is not far off, and could even happen in the near future."

Speaking at a rally marking Al-Quds Day, traditionally held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Lebanese militia chief added that the very presence of Palestinian families within Jerusalem is a form of "resistance against the occupation."

"No one has the right to give up a grain of soil in the holy land," said Nasrallah, speaking through a video link on a giant screen. He added that "Jerusalem must return to its rightful owners and it will, God willing."

"The Palestinian nation expects Arab nations to act in order to bring the blockade on the Gaza Strip to an end," said Nasrallah. "However," he added, "only foreigners are sailing on the ships to Gaza. As a Lebanese Arab and a Muslim, I feel great shame that the Palestinians are dying of hunger," he said.

During his speech, Nasrallah stressed that the Lebanese state should arm its forces even "by obtaining arms from the black market as the resistance [Hezbollah] does."

"Can we build a strong and patriotic army capable of defending our territories by asking the Americans' and Israelis' permission to give us arms and equipments?" Nasrallah asked the crowd.

Nasrallah said his organization hides weapons from the enemy and its allies because this is the only way the movement can build up its power, adding that Hezbollah is ready for whatever it takes to implement peace and stability in Beirut. However he ruled out new alliances with the anti-Syrian majority. "Reconciliation doesn't mean building new alliances," he said.

A meeting between the leader of the anti-Syrian ruling majority Saad Hariri and Nasrallah is expected to take place in the near future, though no date has been announced.