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Hezbollah vows to defend Lebanon’s oil, gas against Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Hezbollah fighters holding flags of the Lebanese resistance movement during a parade in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP photo)

Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah has vowed to defend the rights of the country in oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean region against any new Israeli aggression.

In response to comments made by Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, who on Wednesday warned companies not to engage in exploration activities with Lebanon, Hezbollah said the group would do its best to defend the Lebanon’s “oil and gas rights” against any Israeli threat.

Lieberman told a security conference in the occupied territories that giant international energy companies who have been bidding on a Lebanese tender for offshore activities on the Levant Basin in were “making a grave error”. He said Lebanon’s tender for the Block 9, one of the five blocks in the area which is disputed with Israel, was “very provocative”.

Hezbollah said Lieberman’s comments were “a new aggression”, warning that it would “decisively confront any assault on our oil and gas rights.”

Other Lebanese officials also reacted to the comments, with Prime Minister Sa’ad al-Hariri saying they were one of several “threatening messages” from Israel in recent days.

President Michel Aoun said on his official Twitter account that “Lieberman’s words about Block 9 are a threat to Lebanon and its right to sovereignty over its territorial waters.”

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil also said that he had highlighted the case with the United Nations two weeks ago when he sent a letter affirming Lebanon’s right to defend itself and its economic interests.

Lebanon views Israel as an enemy. More than 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in 2006 when Israel launched an all-out aggression against Lebanon.

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