Hezbollah aims for “calm” to “give a real chance” to border negotiations with Israel

The leader of the Lebanese Shiite militia-party Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has assured that the group is giving negotiations with Israel on the delimitation of the maritime border a chance, although he has reiterated that gas extraction in Karish is “a red line” that would lead to a response.

“We have been calm these past few weeks because we are giving negotiations a real chance. Our goal is to allow Lebanon to extract oil and gas and we are not looking for trouble,” he has said in a televised speech.

Thus, he noted that “Lebanon is facing a golden opportunity that might not be repeated” and warned that “the red line is that there is no extraction of Karish (by Israel),” as reported by the Lebanese news portal Naharnet.

“The Zionist authorities said that extraction would start in September, but then they postponed it. That is good and we do not care about the reasons, technical or not,” he stressed, while stressing that Hezbollah “sent a very strong message” about the possibility of the start of this work.

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“We are following the negotiations and our eyes are on Karish. Our missiles are aimed at Karish. As long as extraction does not start, there is a possibility of achieving solutions,” Nasrallah stressed, stressing that Hezbollah “will not allow oil or gas to be extracted from the disputed Karish field until Lebanon obtains its just demands.”

In this regard, he has argued that “Israelis, Americans and Europeans have enough information about the seriousness of the resistance’s position.” “It’s not psychological warfare or a joke. Things are calm, but if a confrontation is imposed on us, it will be totally unavoidable,” he has said.

Nasrallah’s remarks came just days after Israel’s Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz said that “Lebanon will pay the price” if the Shiite group attacks Karish.

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During the day on Wednesday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun outlined that “contacts to finalize the demarcation issue have registered great progress in which Lebanon has achieved what would allow it to exploit its resources in its waters.”

Israel and Lebanon, which are technically at war and do not maintain diplomatic relations, initiated in October 2020 a process of indirect talks mediated by the United States and held under the auspices of the United Nations at the headquarters of the international body in the Lebanese city of Naqura.

The negotiations revolve around an area of 860 square kilometers which, according to both countries, lie in their respective Exclusive Economic Zones, an issue of particular importance following the discovery of gas reserves in this area which both Israel and Lebanon hope to exploit.

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