Hezbollah chief threatens Israel’s offshore gas fields

Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah is not involved in the demarcation talks but said it would act decisively if Lebanon’s gas reserves are threatened in any way. 

By Aryeh Savir/TPS and World Israel News Staff

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hasan Nasrallah has warned Israel against developing the gas fields in its maritime border zone with Lebanon before agreeing on the exact border demarcation. Otherwise, “a proper response will follow,” he said.

“At the proper time, the Resistance [Hezbolla] will act against any Israeli infringement on Lebanon’s offshore resources, even in the disputed zone,” Nasrallah declared over the weekend.

Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah is not involved in the demarcation talks but said it would act decisively if Lebanon’s gas reserves are threatened in any way.

“The Resistance will keep following its jihad path in order to liberate the occupied territories and protect the sanctities,” threatened Nasrallah.

Representatives from Israel and Lebanon have met several times in recent months to negotiate the maritime border between the two countries, to determine the ownership of offshore gas fields in the area.

The talks are being mediated by the U.S. and hosted by ​the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).

The discussions are aimed at reaching a consensus on a common Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary. The issue has been under discussion for over a decade, but only recently have the two countries reached an agreement on a framework for the US-mediated talks.

Read  WATCH: A look inside Israel's training to fight Hezbollah

The focus of both sides is the oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters which are under dispute.

According to reports, Lebanon surprised Israel with a demand for an additional 1,460 square kilometers from Israel’s economic water, in addition to the 860 square kilometers on which the discussions are already focusing.

The new Lebanese demand means they are claiming ownership of the Karish gas field and Block 72, where Israel plans to enable further drilling for gas.

Last month it was reported that U.S. energy giant Halliburton had announced winning a contract for extracting oil from Israel’s Karish North oil fields, which sparked outrage from Lebanese ministers.

Hezbollah has previously threatened Israel’s offshore gas rigs, and the IDF has deployed special measures to defend these strategic assets.