NAQOURA (AFP) – Hundreds of people and several lawmakers have protested in southern Lebanon against the Zionist regime’s moving a gas production vessel into an offshore field partly claimed by Beirut.
The demonstration comes just days after the ship operated by London-listed Energean Plc arrived in the Karish gas field last week.
Several hundred people waved Lebanese and Palestinian flags at Lebanon’s border town of Naqoura to protest the occupying regime’s claim on the area where the Karish field is located, an AFP correspondent said.
“We absolutely refuse to neglect Lebanon’s maritime resources, which belong to all Lebanese,” said lawmaker Firas Hamdan, reading a joint statement from 13 independent parliamentarians, most of whom were newly elected last month.
Lebanon and the occupying regime have no diplomatic relations.
Lebanon’s president and prime minister have condemned the occupying regime for moving the vessel into the Karish field.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement this week warned Energean against proceeding with its activities.
Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the movement is “ready” to take action if the government confirms that the occupying regime 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 Zionist regime’s efforts to plunder Lebanon’s gas resources.
The Zionist regime has reportedly deployed air missile systems in Tel Aviv and Haifa following a warning Nasrallah that the resistance movement is “not afraid of war.”
According to a report published by Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper on Saturday, the occupying regime’s military was put on alert immediately after Nasrallah’s speech to counter any surprise attacks.
This is while regime officials had not taken seriously the warnings coming from Lebanese officials against the Tel Aviv regime’s gas extraction from the Karish gas field in Lebanon’s territorial waters, the paper said, according to Al-Alam news network.
Lebanon and the Zionist regime 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.
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.