Hundreds of people, including several lawmakers, have held a protest rally in southern Lebanon after a vessel operated by a Greek company arrived at the Karish gas field in Lebanon’s territorial waters to extract gas for Israel.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Hundreds of people, including several lawmakers, have held a protest rally in southern Lebanon after a vessel operated by a Greek company arrived at the Karish gas field in Lebanon’s territorial waters to extract gas for Israel.
The protesters waved Lebanese and Palestinian flags in Lebanon’s border town of Naqoura to protest the occupying regime’s claim to the maritime area, where the Karish field is located.
“We absolutely refuse to neglect Lebanon’s maritime resources, which belong to all Lebanese,” said lawmaker Firas Hamdan, reading a joint statement by 13 independent parliamentarians.
The demonstration comes after the ship operated by London-listed Energean Plc arrived in the Karish gas field last week.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Mikati have also condemned the Israeli regime for moving the vessel into the Karish field.
Last Sunday, Mikati said Israel is provoking crisis in disputed waters in the Mediterranean by encroaching on Lebanese resources and maritime wealth.
“The Israeli enemy’s attempts to create a new crisis, by encroaching on Lebanon’s maritime wealth, and imposing a fait accompli in a disputed area in which Lebanon adheres to its rights, is extremely dangerous,” he warned.
On Monday, the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the movement is “ready” to take action if the government confirms that Israel is violating the maritime rights of the country.
“When the Lebanese state says that the Israelis are attacking our waters and our oil, then we are ready to do our part in terms of pressure, deterrence and the use of appropriate means – including force,” Qassem said.
On Thursday, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Hezbollah, said the resistance would not remain “silent” in the face of the Israeli regime’s efforts to plunder Lebanon’s gas resources.
“The resistance’s essential duty is to protect Lebanon’s land, waters, oil, gas, and dignity,” Nasrallah said.
“All options are on the table for the resistance [towards enabling such protection],” he said, asserting that the resistance was “not afraid of war.”
“The enemy does not recognize the international law and resolutions,” he said, reminding that it was not the international regulations, but actually “pressure, war of attrition, and resistance” that forced the occupying enemy to retreat from southern Lebanon and the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.
Israel launched two wars against Lebanon in the 2000s. In both cases, it was forced to retreat after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Hezbollah. The regime was likewise forced by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza to withdraw its forces and illegal settlers from the coastal sliver in 2005.
A report published by Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper on Saturday said the Israeli army had deployed air missile systems to Tel Aviv and Haifa in the occupied territories following Nasrallah’s warning.
The report said the Israeli military had been put on alert immediately after Nasrallah’s speech to counter any surprise attacks.
Lebanon and Israel took part in indirect talks to discuss demarcation in 2020. But the talks stalled after Lebanon demanded a larger area, including part of the Karish gas field, where Israel has given exploration rights to a Greek firm.
The talks were supposed to discuss a Lebanese demand for 860 sq km (330 square miles) of territory in the disputed maritime area, according to a map sent to the United Nations in 2011. However, Lebanon then said the map was based on erroneous calculations and demanded 1,430 square kilometers (552 square miles) more further south, including part of Karish.