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Lebanon won in maritime dispute with Israel case without war: Senior Hezbollah official

Head of Hezbollah’s political council Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed

A top official of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah says Beirut has achieved its goals in the maritime dispute case with the Israeli regime without resorting to military action.

The head of Hezbollah’s political council, Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, said on Saturday that there is a generation in Lebanon that has crushed the power of the arrogant countries and foiled their wars against Lebanon.

“Lebanon, thanks to the resistance and the unified national stance, has won in the case of its marine wealth without needing to go to war to achieve this,” Sayyed said.

In a televised speech on Thursday, President Michel Aoun said Lebanon had approved a US-mediated maritime border deal with Israel, saying that the agreement was a “historic achievement.”

Lebanon was “able to recover a disputed area of 860 square kilometers,” said Aoun, adding, “Lebanon did not concede a single square kilometer to Israel.”

He also said that the agreement fully preserves Lebanon’s rights while “no normalization with Israel took place and no direct talks or agreements were held with it.”

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that Lebanon and Israel agreed to “formally” end their maritime border dispute and were ready to take the next steps.

The Israeli regime’s cabinet approved the deal on Wednesday by a large majority. The agreement will be forwarded to the Israeli parliament for a two-week review before a final cabinet vote.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, said on Tuesday that the movement will not recognize any maritime border deal between Lebanon and the Israeli regime until it is officially signed.

Nasrallah said “we will remain vigilant” until such a deal is finalized, noting a proper deal should meet the Lebanese government’s demands.

“In such case, we would not have any problem with this matter,” he said. “From the beginning, we said that we stand by the Lebanese administration [on this issue] … What is of importance to the resistance is for the Lebanese people to be able to extract oil and gas from Lebanese fields.”

Lebanon and the Israeli regime carried out five sessions of indirect talks on the demarcation of maritime borders starting 2020, with the latest round held in May 2021. Since the negotiations kicked off, Hezbollah declared that extraction of gas from Karish without guarantees to Lebanon that it will be able to explore and extract its maritime resources is a red line.

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