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Lebanon to get its maritime riches, but anti-normalization policies in place

By Hiba Morad

The maritime border demarcation deal to define the boundary between Lebanon and the Israeli regime, which cooked slowly over 12 years, is expected to be signed by the end of this week.

US special energy envoy Amos Hochstein said on Sunday that Lebanon and the Israeli apartheid regime are likely to sign the new maritime boundary deal on Thursday.

However, the closer the signature time, the more risky things get and the more the possibility for last-minute tactics to appear.

The signature is set to take place in the Lebanese town of Naqoura, with delegations from Lebanon and the Israeli regime signing the deal in separate rooms. Lebanon is not expected to sign the agreement until after the apartheid regime does so.

A strict no to normalization

University professor and expert on international law, Dr. Ali Fadlallah told the Press TV Website that the Israeli regime is trying to take advantage of the situation to break Lebanon’s refusal of normalization by sending journalists and politicians among the delegation members.

“Lebanon stringently refused to have civilians on the delegation as it sticks to its policies that oppose normalization with the Israeli occupying enemy," he asserted.

The political analyst stressed that Lebanon firmly reiterated multiple times that military personnel are the only ones qualified to be part of the delegation in what cannot be called talks or discussions, assuring this is sort of a ‘treaty’ or ‘deal’ and that the two delegations will not meet but rather be sitting in separate rooms while the mediator does the work. 

“There was pressure for a joint meeting and declaration of the treaty and this did not and will not happen. These cannot be called direct talks, but it is rather a treaty that is taking place through a third party which is the UN, and this is not new for Lebanon,” Dr. Fadlallah said.

Lebanon says it seeks its interests but will never let go of its anti-normalization mandates. These are based on three connected sets of laws: the Lebanese criminal code, the 1955 Boycott Law, and the Code of Military Justice.

Anti-normalization is also an integral part of the culture in Lebanon. In several sports events, even young and teenage players withdraw from competitions and international tournaments to show a strong stand against normalization. 

Recently, in August, the Lebanese player Maggie Qassem Fawaz withdrew from the 4th Abu Dhabi international tournament after a draw set her up to confront an Israeli contestant.

Also in February, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah's stance on the issue was "based on the non-recognition of 'Israel'," asserting Hezbollah's opposition to any conspiracy to normalize, cooperate, or coordinate with the Israeli occupation within the framework of border demarcation.

Dr. Fadlallah also noted that up until the last moment when the deal is signed, doubts will remain to loom on the horizon on whether it will take place or not and whether the US will keep its promises and stick to the text of the final proposal of which Lebanon approved after requesting some changes that were done.

Hezbollah’s pivotal role in deal 

Now, despite the upcoming elections in the Israeli occupying regime, the news on the deal kept Israeli media busy during the past few weeks, reflecting the regime’s worries and dissatisfaction with the situation. 

For instance, Israeli media said the maritime demarcation agreement with Lebanon proved the weakness of Lapid's government in protecting "Israel's" invulnerability.

Meanwhile, Israeli army general Yitzhak Brick told Israeli media that the Israeli occupation has lost its military strength over the past two decades, exposing "Tel Aviv" to various threats, and Israeli former Brigadier General Amir Avivi said on Tuesday that Hezbollah has forced the Israeli apartheid regime to submit and kneel.

Also, Israeli political analyst Rafif Droker stressed that the Israeli regime would have delayed the maritime deal with Lebanon for 200 years had not it been for Hezbollah's military power.

On this note, Dr. Fadlallah explained that fear was clearly reflected in the Israeli media, underscoring that the Hezbollah resistance movement should be thanked for its efforts in this case.

“The role of the resistance is very pivotal. Before praising the negotiator, we should praise the gun that backs and protects the negotiator and of course, this is an international value or conception in the world of negotiations as expressed by French sociologist, historian and political commentator Raymond Aron,” he further elaborated.

There is enough evidence seen in the statements and words of Israeli officials and journalists on how seriously the Israeli regime takes Hezbollah and understands pretty well the dimensions of the matter even though the enemy cannot be trusted and try to maneuver in different ways.”

A New equation

Hezbollah will be setting a new equation in the region: the power and war of wills.

“The wills of the people of the region are becoming stronger, their will to extract their natural resources is incremental, owing to the fact that Lebanon stood up for itself and is demanding its rights in its own waters,” Dr. Fadlallah noted, adding “Such an example gives the people of the region gradual courage to follow the lead of Lebanon. The peoples of the region will wake up eventually and this is an essential point.”

Israelis have maritime stations and platforms and this is another strategic goal that will be on the bank of targets in any coming war whether with Lebanon or the Palestinian resistance, of course Lebanon does not intend to start a war, but in case it takes place or the Israeli regime starts a war, then these will be targeted.

Moreover, the fact that important international companies are willing to extract oil from Lebanon is significant since it will allow for the revival of the economy and making use of natural resources.

Israelis clearly expressed in their media that “they feel an imminent strategic fear and anger for being broken and for kneeling, and this is a huge matter,” Dr. Fadlallah concluded.

Reaching a deal was a very slow process; it took twelve years to get to this point today, yet awaiting the signature of the deal. But it was when Lebanon’s Hezbollah sent out its straw in the wind that the Israeli regime understood the message, and the world saw an outcome.

Hiba Morad is a Tehran-based academic and political analyst, currently pursuing a PhD in linguistics at the University of Tehran.

(The views expressed in this article are author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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