Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said last week that the Lebanese group is committed to defending the country’s maritime wealth, warning Israel that “all options are on table” in this regard.
In a televised speech via Al-Manar, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah is capable on several levels (militarily, logistically, security and individually) to prevent Israel from extracting gas and oil from the disputed zone.
He said that the Greek firm operating the vessel which reached the disputed area in 16 is a partner of Israel’s claims in what he says is Lebanon’s maritime wealth, warning this firm that it is “fully responsible” for the fate of the vessel.
Nasrallah called for a united Lebanese stance regarding dealing with the issue of maritime wealth, stressing that investing in this wealth is the “only remaining hope” to cope with the economic collapse endangering Lebanon’s social security.
Hezbollah’s leader meanwhile reiterated a previous stance that his group is not party to the US-brokered indirect maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel, assuring that the only responsible Lebanese side is the Lebanese State.
He also hit back at Israeli threats, saying that the losses inflicted upon Lebanon in case of any future confrontation are nothing compared to losses inflicted on it.
“Aggressive, Provocative Act”
Starting his speech, Nasrallah said the Energean Power FPSO (Floating Production Storage Offloading) operated by the Greek firm – which had reached the disputed maritime zone – was not in the stage of drilling for gas and oil, noting that the activity now is the extraction of gas and oil.
“The vessel arrived in the disputed maritime zone to extract gas and not to drill for gas as reported by some media outlets,” Nasrallah said.
He described the Israeli move, represented by the ship activity in the disputed zone, is considered as an “aggressive and provocative act”.
Nasrallah repeatedly said during his speech that Hezbollah is not a party to the indirect talks on maritime borders between Lebanon and the Zionist entity, stressing that the Lebanese State is the only side responsible for the US-brokered negotiations.
“Today we are before a very important and national issue which is how to react to this Israeli aggression,” he said.
“Maritime Wealth Lebanon’s Only Remaining Hope”
Nasrallah noted that the Lebanese maritime wealth is the “only remaining hope to cope with the economic collapse which has been endangering the country’s social security.”
He then talked about threats that could prevent Lebanon to invest in its maritime wealth.
“The first threat endangering this wealth is the potential seizure by the Zionist entity to a great area of our maritime border.”
“The second threat is preventing Lebanon from extracting gas and oil in its maritime border, while the third one is emptying the field from gas and oil by the enemy and other states in the region.”
Nasrallah then said that Lebanon’s maritime wealth “is no less important than liberating the country’s occupied south in 2000,” noting that all powers in Lebanon “have to act with high responsibility in order to defend this wealth.”
In this context he warned against more delay in this issue, stating: “We don’t have much time. The more days we are late the much wealth we are losing.”
“Hezbollah has been since 2000 laying responsibility of maritime border demarcation on the Lebanese State.”
“The Powerful Resistance”
Nasrallah then hit back at Israeli threats and provocations, affirming that Lebanon “has the ultimate right to invest in its maritime wealth.”
“The Resistance is capable on all levels- militarily, logistically, security and individually- to prevent the Israeli enemy from extracting gas and oil in Karish field. The Resistance is committed to defend Lebanon’s maritime wealth.”
“All enemy’s measures can’t defend the vessel planning to extract oil and gas in disputed zone,” he added.
“Lebanon’s losses in case of any war with ‘Israel’ are nothing compared to the Zionist entity’s losses,”, adding:
“The enemy’s decision to go for war has existential repercussions on the Zionist entity rather than strategic ones,” Nasrallah said, warning Israel that “Lebanon’s losses in case of any war with ‘Israel’ are nothing compared to the Zionist entity’s losses.”
Addressing both political powers and people in Lebanon, Nasrallah called for a united stance regarding the issue of maritime wealth, reminding some parties that “the Israeli enemy acts arrogantly and neither recognizes nor respects international laws.”
“The powerful Resistance can’t and won’t keep mum regarding Israeli aggression on Lebanon’s maritime wealth,” Sayyed Nasrallah warned as he delivered a clear message to the Zionist entity which says: “All options are on the table.”
“Greece Fully Responsible for Vessel”
Nasrallah then called on the Greek firm to withdraw the vessel from the disputed maritime zone, warning that company that it is “fully responsible” for any material or human losses that could be inflicted upon the ship.
“The Greek firm operating the vessel near Karish has to know that it’s a partner in the Israeli aggression on Lebanon and must withdraw the ship from the disputed zone immediately.”
Nasrallah then assured that Hezbollah “is loosely monitoring the issue of maritime wealth,” revealing that the political wing of the group has tasked former MP Nawwaf Al-Mousawi to follow up the issue.
“With regard to balance of power Lebanon today is stronger than ever,” the Hezbollah leader concluded.