Recent threats of war by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah over Israel’s oil exploration in disputed maritime waters have sparked a wave of criticism in Lebanon, especially with the arrival of a US mediator to Beirut to resume the border demarcation negotiations.
In a radio interview, MP Marwan Hamadeh underlined the need for a unified position, saying: “Any war in the region will destroy Lebanon, which will pay a heavier price than the wealth of its waters.”
In turn, Lebanese Forces MP Fadi Karam wrote on Twitter: “Hezbollah’s involvement in the maritime border demarcation should only be through state institutions, like all Lebanese parties, and not as a negotiator who sets conditions and grabs the state’s decision.”
He continued: “During every border crisis, Hezbollah’s intervention obstructs Lebanon’s strategic interests and deepens the suffering of the Lebanese people.”
In a speech on Thursday evening, Nasrallah spoke for the first time about the Israeli gas production vessel operated by London-listed Energean Plc that arrived in the disputed Karish gas field on Sunday.
Hezbollah will not “stand by and do nothing in the face of (Israel’s) looting of Lebanon’s natural wealth... which is the only hope for the salvation of the Lebanese people”, he warned.
The company “should pull out its ship immediately and avoid getting involved in this aggression and provocation against Lebanon”, Nasrallah said, adding that Energean must assume “full responsibility” for its involvement.
Following the ship’s arrival, Lebanese authorities on Monday called for US envoy Amos Hochstein to visit Beirut to revive maritime border negotiations.