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Hezbollah accuses Lebanese government of appeasing Israel, U.S.

RIYADH, April 18 (RIA Novosti) - The radical Islamist group Hezbollah has accused the government of Lebanon of appeasing Israel and facilitating U.S. plans to control the Middle East, an influential Lebanese newspaper reported Wednesday.

Al-Akhbar quoted Mohammed Raad, one of Hezbollah's leaders and the head of its faction in parliament, as saying that Al-Mustakbal, the ruling majority led by the son of assassinated former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri, was being overly friendly with the Israelis and Americans.

"They have gone too far in making friends with Zionists and Americans," he said.

"[The Americans] just want to build a different Middle East," he said, referring to U.S. accusations of illegal weapons transfers to Hezbollah, which Al-Mustakbal reiterated Tuesday.

"[Al-Mustakbal] is planning to recognize the Zionist entity, normalize relations with it, and stop resisting Israeli aggression," Raad said.

Hezbollah, whose armed resistance resulted in Israel's withdrawal from long-occupied southern Lebanon in 2000, vows to continue fighting as long as Israel holds Shebaa Farms on the border.

For the past five months, the country has been in a deep political crisis over the dispute between the U.S.- and French-backed ruling majority and the opposition supported by Syria and Iran.

While the former seek to punish those behind the Hariri assassination - implying Syria, the former occupying power in Lebanon, - the latter have demanded a greater role in government and policymaking.

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