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Hizbollah, Hamas Brush Off Powell's Syria Demands

Lebanon’s Hizbollah guerrillas said on Sunday they were confident Lebanon and Syria would not bow to U.S. demands to rein them in and vowed to keep up armed resistance to Israel. The militant Palestinian group Hamas, whose Damascus office Washington demands Syria close to get in line with U.S. plans for the Middle East after the Iraq war, also shrugged off U.S. pressure and said its fight with Israel would continue. The demands came from Secretary of State Colin Powell — in Lebanon and Syria on Saturday on his first visit to the region since U.S.-led troops ousted Saddam Hussein — who renewed a U.S. call to put Lebanon’s army on the border with Israel, in place of Hizbollah fighters. “I doubt anyone would answer their call, for as long as there is (Israeli) occupation, no one can even propose disarming the resistance,” Sheikh Hassan Izzedine, a senior official of Syrian and Iranian-backed Hizbollah, told Reuters. “We are not worried a bit about the future and we consider ourselves people with a just cause and we reject any threat.” Full Story

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