Middle East

Hezbollah to act against Israel if it violates Lebanon’s water rights

Lebanese Hezbollah has declared that it is ready to use “force” against Israel if the Lebanese government states that Israel is violating its water rights, deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem announced on Monday.

Speaking to Reuters, Qassem confirmed: “When the Lebanese state says that the Israelis are assaulting our waters and our oil, then we are ready to do our part in terms of pressure, deterrence and use of appropriate means – including force.”

He added: “The issue requires a decisive decision from the Lebanese state,” noting that Hezbollah had “urged the government to hurry up, to set a deadline for itself.”

Qassem’s remarks came a day after a rig operated by London-based Energean arrived off the coast to develop the Karish gas field.

Israel and Lebanon claim that the area where the field exists is part of their exclusive economic zones.

Lebanon confirmed on Monday that it would invite a US mediator to Beirut to resume indirect negotiations with Israel over the disputed maritime boundaries, which have been stalled since last year.

Beirut hopes to reach an agreement that could help it unlock valuable gas reserves to ease its worst-ever financial crisis.

Kan 11 News reported on Sunday that the Israeli Navy was bracing for a potential Hezbollah attack on the new rig in Karish.

READ: Lebanon warns Israel against ‘encroaching’ on maritime wealth

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