By Tom Perry and Laila Bassam BEIRUT (Reuters) - The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Friday his group did not want war with Israel but was ready for one, and reserved the right to respond to Israeli attacks any time, anywhere. "We do not want a war but we are not afraid of it and we must distinguish between the two, and the Israelis must also understand this very well," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said. Nasrallah was speaking at an event to commemorate the deaths of six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general killed by an Israeli air strike in Syria on Jan. 18. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah hit back on Wednesday with a rocket attack that killed two Israeli soldiers on the frontier with Lebanon.
Pro-Russian separatists vowed on Friday to push their latest offensive in eastern Ukraine further if truce talks with Kiev's pro-Western leaders fail as the bitter conflict killed another 19 civilians. Plans for the negotiations in the Belarussian capital Minsk were announced on Thursday, raising hopes of dialogue after the collapse of a September truce in a nine-month war that has killed over 5,100 people, according to the United Nations. "Should the negotiations collapse... the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics reserve the right to pursue their offensive until the entire Donetsk and Lugansk regions are freed" of Ukrainian troops, the rebel regions' main negotiators said in a joint statement. The urgent new round of talks in Minsk that had been agreed for Friday under pressure from European envoys was postponed due to disagreements over who should represent the rebel camp.