BEIRUT — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday night that his party won’t partake in the negotiations over the disputed maritime boundaries with Israel yet won’t stand idle “before the looting of Lebanon's wealth,” adding that Hezbollah “does not want a war, yet is not afraid of one.”
Here’s what we know:
• In a televised speech following Israel’s renewed gas exploration efforts in Lebanon-Israel disputed waters, Nasrallah said that his party “does not interfere neither in [negotiating] the [dividing] lines nor in the [maritime border] demarcation,” stressing that this mission is “the responsibility of the [Lebanese] state.” He added that his comments are addressed specifically to “people who have said that Hezbollah’s stance has not been clear” in the Lebanese-Israeli maritime boundaries dispute.
• However, Nasrallah added that his party is “militarily and financially capable of preventing [Israel] from extracting [gas] from the disputed Karish field and all [Israel’s] measures will not be capable of protecting its floating platform.”
• On Sunday, a floating production, storage and offloading unit belonging to the London-listed power company Energean arrived to part of the disputed exclusive economic zone between Israel and Lebanon with the aim to start drilling the Karish gas field on behalf of the Israeli state, prompting tensions and fears from Lebanon’s politicians and experts.
• Israel's defense, foreign and energy ministers on Wednesday said in a joint statement that their country is “ready to defend its strategic assets.”
• Nasrallah said in his speech that “what Israel will lose in any war they threaten with is much greater than what Lebanon would lose,” threatening Energean and its management that they “must bear full responsibility from now on for what may befall this ship, materially and humanly … and that they should know that they are accomplices in this attack and that they must immediately withdraw the ship.”
• Naim Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, told Reuters on Monday that Hezbollah is ready to take action "including force" against Israeli gas operations in disputed waters once the Lebanese government adopts a clearer policy.
• Nasrallah also pointed out in his speech that his party has devised a political file which will constitute a reference for all matters related to Lebanon’s natural gas and oil deposits — whether found in water or on land — in addition to all matters concerned with the dispute over the demarcation of the maritime borders adding that “everything related to borders [issues]” will be included in the file.
• Nasrallah added that this file will be handled by former MP Nawaf al-Mousawi, who Hezbollah appointed on Tuesday as its representative to communicate with the Lebanese officials regarding the maritime border situation, a Hezbollah spokesperson told L’Orient Today. Mousawi had stepped down from his post in Parliament after he was involved in a violent altercation between his daughter and her ex-husband in a scandal in July 2019.
• He ended his speech and said “We will follow up on the matter hour by hour … and day by day.”
BEIRUT — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday night that his party won’t partake in the negotiations over the disputed maritime boundaries with Israel yet won’t stand idle “before the looting of Lebanon's wealth,” adding that Hezbollah “does not want a war, yet is not afraid of one.”Here’s what we know: • In a televised speech following Israel’s renewed...