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Hezbollah pledges to remain on alert until Lebanon-Israel maritime deal is signed
Far-right Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the agreement, calling it a 'historic surrender' to Hezbollah
By News Desk - October 12 2022
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(Photo credit: AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, cautiously welcomed the landmark agreement between Israel and Lebanon to settle a maritime border dispute during a speech on 11 October.

“We don’t need to send out drones or carry out maneuvers because the goal was for the enemy to understand that the resistance is serious,” the Hezbollah chief said, adding that “Israel is more afraid of war than the Lebanese.”

Nasrallah went on to say that, despite the agreement reached on Monday, the resistance will remain “vigilant” until the documents are officially signed.

“We will wait, as long as Lebanon and Israel don’t sign on paperwork in Naqoura, we don’t have a deal yet,” Nasrallah said.

The resistance leader also dismissed accusations made against Hezbollah claiming it sought to derail the deal, saying: “It is strange that some in Israel and in the Arab media are claiming that Hezbollah wants to sabotage the deal. We have no problem when the Lebanese officials say that the agreement meets the Lebanese demands.”

“We only care about the extraction of oil and gas from Lebanese waters and our stance on demarcation is known,” Nasrallah went on to say, noting that he does not recognize Israel’s border.

“Don’t dare accuse us of not caring for Lebanon’s rights. If you ask me about our maritime border, I’d say it extends to the sea of Gaza. We and the Palestinians are one and we don’t separate our borders.”

“Tonight we will not issue threats. Tonight there will only be joy and clapping,” Nasrallah added during a televised address marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lebanese and Israeli officials announced their acceptance of a US-drafted proposal for the first-ever mutually agreed upon boundary between the two nations, to determine control of two offshore natural gas fields.

The two countries have no direct diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war.

Since mid-June – when Tel Aviv deployed drilling and extraction vessels to the disputed Karish gas field in the Mediterranean Sea – Hezbollah threatened to bomb the rigs if Israel began extracting gas without delimiting the maritime borders first.

In July, the group launched several reconnaissance drones towards the vicinity of Karish to drive home their strike capabilities, setting off alarms across the occupied territories and forcing Tel Aviv to capitulate to their demands.

Following the announcement of the deal on Monday, far-right Israeli leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the agreement a “historic surrender.”

Netanyahu said that “behind the backs of the citizens of Israel and the Knesset, Lapid and [Defense Minister Benny Gantz] surrendered to Hezbollah’s blackmail. They are transferring strategic assets of the State of Israel to Hezbollah in a liquidation sale.”

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