(Photo credit: Getty Images)
Late on 14 August, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, Hashem Safieddine, cautioned that the resistance will confront US and Israeli attempts to steal Lebanon’s natural resources.
“We will continue working to thwart the American and Israeli malign projects that target our country and our region, and we know exactly how to confront and thwart these projects through our experience, our resistance, and our trust in the Lord,” Safieddine said during a ceremony in South Lebanon.
“If we remain steadfast, neither the Americans, nor the Israelis, nor all the money from the Arabs and the Gulf will be able to do anything,” he added, stressing that “Israel is not capable of extracting Lebanon’s gas, if you intend to challenge us and face off with the resistance.”
“How can we recover our occupied land without resistance? How will we obtain our wealth of oil and gas without resistance? And how will we be a respected country in the region without resistance?” the Hezbollah official asked.
In early July, developments related to demarcating the maritime border between the two were restarted, following the arrival of an Israeli-contracted production and storage vessel near Karish gas field, which Beirut considers to be located in a disputed area.
On 9 August, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah threatened to “cut off the hand” of anyone who tries to take Lebanon’s oil and gas, stressing the Lebanese people’s anticipation of the Israeli response to Lebanon’s most recent offer.
“To the resistance supporters, to Hezbollah’s Mujahideen, be ready for any scenario [regarding Israel]. We are at the end of the line. Do not threaten us or even think you can intimidate us. The hand that will touch our resources will be cut,” the resistance chief said.
Hassan Nasrallah had repeatedly warned Israel of the possibility of war if Lebanon was prevented from extracting oil and gas from its territorial waters.
On 31 July, Hezbollah published a video showing the platform being built over Karish, coinciding with the visit of the US mediator Amos Hochstein to Beirut.
The Karish gas field is located under line 29, which Lebanon claims as its maritime border. While the UN claims line 23 is the maritime border, Israel says line 1 is the actual border.