During a speech made on 2 August commemorating the fifth night of Ashura, Lebanon’s resistance leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said that there is little time to reach a just solution in the ongoing maritime border demarcation dispute between Beirut and Tel Aviv, but that Hezbollah will wait and see how things develop.
“We will give the border demarcation file a little time, to see where things will go,” Nasrallah said, adding, however, that “time is short, and in light of the answer, we will act.”
“The [US] must pay attention… to time. The stance of the resistance and the state on the border demarcation issue are in alignment,” he went on to say, reiterating Hezbollah and the Lebanese government’s call for an end to Israeli procrastination in the matter.
Last month, Nasrallah gave Lebanese authorities a six-week deadline to secure Lebanon’s rights over their natural resources, and stressed that the situation will deteriorate if a solution is not reached by September.
During the speech, the resistance leader referred to the US-sponsored deal to import gas into Lebanon through Jordan and Syria as a false promise, and asked why Lebanese allies of the Gulf states have not asked Riyadh or Abu Dhabi to provide the country with oil.
The US-sponsored gas deal, which came just after Hezbollah sought to import Iranian fuel into the country last year, has failed to materialize due to US refusal to provide the companies involved with a sanctions waiver to evade the repercussions of the Caesar Act.
The Caesar Act, passed in 2019 by the US Congress, imposed harsh sanctions on Syria and currently prohibits countries from cooperation or trade with the Damascus government.
Despite the current stalemate in the negotiations, Nasrallah pointed out that the latest round of talks between Lebanese officials and the US-mediator, Amos Hochstein, were more positive.
According to an Israeli Channel 12 report at the end of last month, Tel Aviv is pressuring the US to finalize an agreement on the maritime border before the September deadline given by Hezbollah.
Less than a week earlier, interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reportedly told US mediator Amos Hochstein that he hopes to reach a deal with Lebanon “as soon as possible,” out of fear that Hezbollah will step up its operations against Israel.
The concern comes in light of Hezbollah’s recent drone operation in the Karish gas field.
On 31 July, the official military media office of Hezbollah released a video of drone footage showing the gas drilling ships stationed near the field. The video included exact coordinates of each extraction rig and their distance from Lebanese shores, serving as a reminder to Israel that the resistance group is ready to secure Lebanon’s rights through military force.