Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says if the American mediator does not accept the demands put forward by Lebanon with regard to waters disputed with Israel, there will be no calm in the region.
Nasrallah made the remarks on Friday while addressing a ceremony to mark laying the foundation stone for the touristic landmark in Bekaa’s Janta via video conference.
He said addressing the case of disputed waters and gas fields with the Israeli regime should not be tied to the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Nasrallah said Hezbollah will insist on the Lebanese rights and borders.
“If Lebanon’s demands on maritime demarcation are not met, things will escalate, regardless of whether Iran’s nuclear deal is signed or not.”
He said all the attention is now on the US mediator who is “wasting” the limited time. The coming days, he added, will be “critical” for Lebanon’s oil wealth and maritime demarcation.
Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar reported on Friday that Israel had yielded to Beirut’s maritime demands. Also according to Israeli outlets, an Israeli official is set to travel to the United States to discuss the issue in the hopes of achieving an agreement.
Back in mid-July, Nasrallah had warned the regime of any drilling operations for oil and gas in the disputed area, saying, “There would be no room for oil and gas extraction in the entire region if Lebanon does not get its right.”
The maritime row between Lebanon and Israel is over an area in the Mediterranean Sea spanning about 860 square kilometers. Block No. 9 is rich in oil and gas. Israel relies heavily on gas and has long been developing occupied offshore gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.
The two sides have held several rounds of talks to delineate their maritime borders and resolve the decades-long dispute, but to no avail. The maritime dispute escalated in early July after the regime moved vessels into the Karish Gas Field, which lies in Lebanon’s territorial waters.
The Lebanese resistance movement does not rule out going to war with Israel over the regime’s attempts at impinging on Lebanon’s natural resources.
New tourist site in Bekaa
The new tourist site will be built in one of the former training camps of Hezbollah in Janta. Historically, that land had hosted the resistance’s military drills since Hezbollah's emergence 40 years ago.
Hezbollah has been thinking about establishing a tourist site in the Bekaa area, just like the successful experience of Mleeta landmark, Nasrallah said, adding that Janta was home to the first training camps for the resistance in Lebanon. He hoped the site would recall the memory of resistance.