The Cradle
Hamas official meets with president of Lebanon during Beirut trip
Ismail Haniyeh strongly condemned Israel’s attempt at stealing Lebanon’s natural resources through its violation of maritime border negotiations
By News Desk - June 24 2022
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(Photo credit: Dalati & Nohra)

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has affirmed Lebanon’s support for the right of Palestinian people to return to Palestine and the establishment of an independent state in their homeland during a meeting between the president and the head of the political wing of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, in Beirut on 24 June.

Haniyeh arrived in Beirut on 21 June with a delegation representing the Palestinian resistance faction, consisting of several senior Hamas officials, including Ahmad Abdel Hadi and Osama Hamdan.

Over the course of the meeting, Aoun emphasized the importance of protecting Jerusalem from Israeli aggression, saying that the holy city is highly significant to three main religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

“No one can imagine Jerusalem without the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, or its other holy sites,” Aoun said.

The Lebanese President also stated that the Palestinian people’s resistance against Israeli occupation “is not terrorism”.

Haniyeh updated Aoun on the situation in Jerusalem and in Palestine in general, specifically regarding the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the constant storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by occupation troops and settlers.

The Hamas official also congratulated Aoun on the outcome of Lebanon’s latest elections, while firmly condemning Israel’s violation of the negotiations regarding the maritime border dispute between Beirut and Tel Aviv, speaking out against the open Israeli attempt to loot Lebanon’s natural resources.

“We affirm our full solidarity with Lebanon in the face of Israeli threats on Lebanese–Palestinian maritime borders … the hands of this occupation have no right to extend to any Arab country,” Haniyeh said in a statement after the meeting.

On 5 June, a European gas extraction vessel docked in Lebanese waters to drill for natural gas in the Karish field on behalf of Israel, a direct violation of ongoing maritime border negotiations.

The Karish gas field lies in Lebanon’s territorial waters.

Earlier this week, another European ship, the UK-owned Stena Icemax drill ship, crossed the disputed maritime line 29 to operate on a new drill site about three kilometers from Lebanon.

During a 9 June speech, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the Lebanese resistance is militarily and financially capable of preventing Israel from looting Lebanon’s natural resources.