Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has pledged the group's support to the Palestinians against Israel's West Bank annexation plan, saying the Shi'ite organization would “do everything to block” the move.
“We support the Palestinian people and its leadership and are willing to do everything to block and prevent the annexation plan,” Nasrallah said, speaking in a televised address a few days before the anniversary of the start of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war.
Israel has repeatedly said it might start annexing West Bank land as early as this month, but it is not yet clear if it will go through with the move, or how much land it might absorb.
Nasrallah, meanwhile, also discussed Lebanon's grave economic crisis, and called on the Lebanese government to forge closer ties to countries like Iran, Iraq and China, which he said would help Lebanon out of the situation.
He also heavily criticized the United States for "starving" Lebanon and "inspiring Israel to go on with its aggression towards Lebanon and the Palestinians.”
Lebanon is suffering an acute financial crisis and a hard-currency liquidity crunch. The Lebanese pound has lost some 80 percent of its value since October, when the long-brewing crisis came to a head.
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Talks between Lebanon and the International Monetary Fund were put on hold last week, bogged down by a dispute in Lebanon over the scale of losses in the financial system and pending the start of reforms to address the root causes of the crisis, seen as the biggest threat to Lebanon's stability since the 1975-90 civil war.
The government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, which is backed by Hezbollah, has yet to embark on serious reforms sought by donors including the United States and France, which say Beirut must fix state waste and corruption before any aid is released.