BEIRUT (MEMO) – The deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah resistance movement has demanded that Lebanon be given its full oil and gas rights in its territorial waters, agencies have reported.
“Today we are facing a rightful demand related to Lebanon’s restoration of its oil and gas wealth in its territorial waters,” said Sheikh Naim Qassem in a speech at a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the movement. “The promises made by some about postponing the solution are not useful.”
The Hezbollah official stressed that Lebanon is strong enough to stop time passing while the Israeli occupation regime is working and extracting oil and gas, and trying to make its presence [in Lebanese waters] a reality.
“The equation is clear: we demand our oil and our rights uncompromised,” insisted Qassem. “Lebanon is not weak and is able to protect its rights.”
A day earlier, Hezbollah said its recent flying of three unarmed drones toward the Karish gas field was aimed at warning the Zionist regime not to conduct any extraction operation prior to resolving a long-standing maritime dispute between Beirut and the occupying regime.
According to Hezbollah, three unarmed drones of different sizes were launched toward the disputed area at the Karish field in Eastern Mediterranean on Saturday afternoon to carry out reconnaissance missions.
“The drones accomplished their mission which was to send a message to Israel. The message was in line with reinforcing Lebanon’s stance in indirect talks with the Zionist regime regarding demarcation of the territory in the disputed maritime area,” a top Hezbollah official told Lebanon’s Arabic-language OTV television station.
The unnamed source further said the drones “reminded the enemy that they cannot conduct any [extraction] operation in Karish gas field before we reach a deal to mark the boundaries in disputed areas. We emphasize Lebanon’s sovereignty.”
The source also criticized the U.S. for allowing the Zionist regime to press ahead with its extraction operations before Lebanon and the regime reach an agreement, adding, “Doesn’t this violate Lebanon’s sovereignty?”
Sheikh Naim Qassem also pointed out that the new parliament in Beirut represents a new phase, and accountability begins from now for every Member of Parliament. The existence of a government is better than not having one, he said, with more benefits than retaining an interim administration.
However, concluded Sheikh Qassem, the U.S. and other parties do not want the Lebanese to have a government because they do not want the Lebanese to stop suffering.