Nasrallah warns against 'stealing Lebanon's resources'

Hezbollah leader vows to protect Lebanon's natural resources against Israeli claims on disputed area of Mediterranean.

By OREN KESSLER, JPOST.COM STAFF
July 27, 2011 01:06
2 minute read.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday warned Israel against "stealing Lebanon’s resources out of its territorial waters.”

In a televised speech marking the fifth anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, Nasrallah promised retaliation against Israeli attempts to begin excavation of natural resources in what he claims are Lebanon's territorial waters. Israel’s cabinet on July 10 approved the demarcation of the northern maritime border with Lebanon, in an effort to protect economic rights in offshore territories that Lebanon is claiming as its own. Israel will submit its map to the UN to counter a map that Lebanon submitted last year.

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The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported last week that MP Muhammad Qabbain, head of the country’s parliament’s Public Works, Transport, Energy and Water Committee, said the country “can lodge a complaint saying that Israel’s actions threaten international peace and security. Following this move, and even if Israel does not abide by the UN resolution, large international [excavating and offshore drilling] companies will no more be able to operate in an area dubbed as disputed by the UN.”

“I confidently say to all the countries, governments and companies that will submit tenders in order to start oil excavation that Lebanon is capable of protecting these companies and oil and gas installations,” Nasrallah was quoted by Naharnet as saying on Tuesday.

“I tell the friends and the foes that Lebanon will rely on all the elements of strength in order to regain its natural resources, and the most important element is the army-people-Resistance formula,” the Hezbollah leader added.

Of the Second Lebanon War his speech was commemorating Nasrallah said that Israel had started the conflict in an "arrogant and overconfident manner, but in the face of the steadfastness of Lebanon and the resistance fighters its confidence quickly turned into confusion, weakness, uncertainty and a crisis of confidence among the Israeli leaders, government and people.”

He added that the relative quiet present on the Israel-Lebanon border since the war's conclusion was imposed by Hezbollah because the organization's "objective is not war, but rather to defend its land and the dignity of its people.”


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