Israel Caves in to Hezbollah Demands on Lebanese Gas Field

Published August 20th, 2022 - 07:33 GMT
The platform of the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea is pictured from the Israeli northern coastal city of Caesarea, on 24 February 2022 (AFP)

Israel has accepted Lebanon's demands in the border demarcation file and needs few more weeks to finalize the agreement, the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

In remarks published Friday, the Arabic daily said that Israel wants guarantees that Hezbollah will not attack Israel gas rigs in case the agreement is not reached by mid-September.

The agreement would give Lebanon the Line 23 and all of the Qana field, according to the report.

"Israel has sent clear messages to Hezbollah, saying that it has accepted Lebanon's demands and asking for guarantees that Hezbollah will not attack Karish," the daily quoted informed sources as saying according to the English language website Naharnet.

In June, Israel moved a production vessel into Karish, parts of which are claimed by Lebanon. The move forced the Lebanese government to call for the resumption of U.S.-mediated negotiations, and Hochstein answered the request and visited Beirut, while Hezbollah threatened Israel against proceeding with extraction.

Lebanon is now waiting for a response from Israel after having relayed its maritime border position to Hochstein.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday threatened anew that there would be an “escalation” if Lebanon does not get what it wants in the sea border negotiations with Israel, Naharnet also pointed out.

“If the Lebanese state is not given what it wants, we will be heading to an escalation, even if the nuclear agreement gets signed,” Nasrallah said in a televised address during a Hezbollah ceremony, referring to the possibility of a new nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

“Should the U.S. mediator come and give the Lebanese state what it wants, we will be heading to calm, regardless whether or not there will be a nuclear agreement,” Nasrallah said.

“The eyes of the Lebanese should not be on Vienna… The eyes should be on Karish, the sea border and northern Israel,” Hezbollah’s leader went on to say.

And charging that U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein is “still wasting time,” Nasrallah warned that “his time is running out.”

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