Sharon warns Lebanon not to divert water from Hasbani river; Hizbullah rejects Israeli threats
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned Lebanon Tuesday not to divert water from the Hasbani springs. Army Radio reported that Sharon said that he sees the attempt to divert the water as "a pretext for war."
Under the plan declared by Lebanon, a pipeline would take 5,000 cubic metres of drinking water each day to five or six villages on the banks of the Hasbani River in south Lebanon.
The Hasbani flows from Lebanon into the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee, Israel's biggest fresh water reservoir.
The prime minister recently sent to Lebanese Authorities a warning, via Western officials, not to divert the water. Israel claims that if the Lebanese divert the water, it would be a clear violation of agreements regarding the distribution of water in the region.
"Israel takes a grave view (of the project) because it represents a violation of regional water agreements," a senior Israeli source quoted Sharon as telling his cabinet at its weekly meeting. "Israel cannot agree to this."
For its part, Hizbullah warned Israel against any attempt to prevent Lebanon from exploiting the Hasbani.
"We say to (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon and to all the Zionists that if they even think about using force to stop the Lebanese exploiting the waters of the Wazzani, we will cut their hands off," Hizbullah executive committee member Hashem Safiedin said, according to AFP.
"We support the exploitation of the Wazzani river, which will allow the provision of drinking water to dozens of villages in south Lebanon, and we stress the need to press ahead with this work despite the Israeli threats," the Hizbullah official told a meeting. The Wazzani is a tributary of the Hasbani river. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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